Registered unemployment rose from 5.8% to 8.7% YoY as of the end of the first quarter of 2021, particularly in more rural counties, which had been hit hard by the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic even if their reported coronavirus rates were not as high as other areas.
Women, too, have been hit more heavily then men in terms of job losses, with 52.2% of registered unemployed at the end of Q1 being women compared with 47.8% men. At the same time in 2020, shortly after the coronavirus arrived in Estonia, the respective figures were 49.6% and 50.4%.
Estonia’s second-largest island, Hiiumaa, one of the most sparsely-populated regions of the country, saw its unemployment double, though absolute figures remain low, and fewer than 300 people were registered unemployed on the island with population less than 10,000.
Similarly, Parnu, Laane and Rapla counties, along with Saaremaa, have seen significant rises in unemployment, in the region of 50%.
The overall figure of registered unemployed nationwide stands at 56,900 compared with 38,000 at the end of March 2020.
Ida-Viru County, which has been one of the hardest-hit regions by coronavirus rates and which faces significant challenges as its primary industry, oil shale mining and refining, continues to decline, maintains the highest unemployment rate in the land at 14.7% as of the end of March.
At the same time, the rise in unemployment stood at 20% at the end of March, meaning it had been less affected in terms of unemployment by the pandemic than other regions.
Three southern counties are next – Valga (10.8%), Polva (10.3%) and Parnu (10%), while Laane County posted a 9% registered unemployment.
Registered unemployed in Harju County, the most populous region of Estonia and including the capital, Tallinn, saw a near-doubling of registered unemployment too, from 14,600 to 26,900.
Youth unemployment has also grown, from 11.1% of the total figure a year ago to 12.6%.
The figures, compiled by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Tootukassa), concern registered unemployment and not either non-registered joblessness, or under-employment. (ERR/Business World Magazine)
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