Unemployment rose 16,000 to 47,900, or by 6.8%, between 2019 and 2020, state agency Statistics Estonia reported, with short-term (less than half a year unemployed) joblessness making up the bulk of that figure.
Labor force participation rate stood at 71.6%, while the employment rate was 66.7%.
Katriin Polluaar, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said the majority of unemployed had been without work for less than six months.
Polluaar said that: “The unemployment rate among the working-age population was the highest in northeastern Estonia and Ida-Viru county stood out the most. Unemployment was slightly lower in cities and towns compared with rural areas. Compared with 2019, the share of unemployed persons grew the most among clerical support workers, technicians and associate professionals.”
The breakdown by ethnicity saw unemployment lower than average among Estonian speakers (5.8%) and higher among those whose native language was Russian, at 9.4%.
More men – 25,300 – were unemployed, than women (22,600), Statistics Estonia said.
The labor force participation rate did not change compared with 2019, with inactive persons totaling 279,700. The main reasons cited for inactivity were retirement, studies and illness or disability.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the labor force participation rate was slightly higher than that of the whole year at 72.4%, while the employment rate was 67% – i.e. practically the same for 2020 as a whole – though the unemployment rate was higher than the year as a whole, at 7.4%.
Across 2020 there were 656,600 employed persons, Statistics Estonia says. Of these, 568,200 were full-time workers, while 88,300 worked part-time.
Compared with 2019, the employment rate fell by 1.7%, with a rise of part-time employees (by 3,200) at the expense of a fall in full-timers (17,900).
The reasons for the shift towards part-time employment were due to personal or family reasons in about a third of the cases, Polluaar said.
Employment in water and sewerage and postal and courier services rose proportionately in 2020, while it fell most in machinery and equipment maintenance and in forestry and logging. (ERR/Business World Magazine)