According to Statistics Estonia, the unemployment rate rose to 13.5% in the 2nd quarter of the current year. A year ago the unemployment rate was 4%. The number of employed persons decreased by 64,000 during the year.
The rapid growth of unemployment, which had started in the second half of the previous year, continued in the first half of the current year. Still, the number of unemployed persons grew less in the 2nd quarter than in the 1st quarter. In the 1st quarter the unemployment rate was 11.4% and the number of unemployed persons increased by 26,000 compared with the previous quarter, but in the 2nd quarter the increase in the number of unemployed persons was smaller by a half (13,000).
In the 2nd quarter, the number of unemployed persons grew up to 92,000 of whom nearly two thirds were men. The number of unemployed men was bigger than the number of unemployed women also in earlier years, but this year unemployment has been increasing especially rapidly among men. In the 2nd quarter the unemployment rate of men was 16.9% exceeding thereby the level of 2000 i.e. the year of highest unemployment so far. The unemployment rate of women was 10% in the 2nd quarter.
During the period of rapid growth in unemployment, registration of the unemployed persons has become more and more active. According to the data of Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Eesti Töötukassa), the number of registered unemployed persons was 64,000 in the 2nd quarter of the current year which makes 70% of the total number of unemployed persons on the basis of Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Estonia. 62% of the unemployed men and as many as 83% of the unemployed women have registered themselves at the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The employed persons numbered 593,000 in the 2nd quarter which is 9.7% less than at the same time a year ago. Compared to the previous quarter, the number of employed persons decreased by 3.2%. Employment has decreased the most in construction, where every third worker has lost a job during the year. 55,000 persons were employed in construction in the 2nd quarter of the current year, 85,000 persons a year ago. The number of employed persons in manufacturing slightly increased compared to the previous quarter, but compared to the same quarter of the previous year over 30,000 persons less were employed there.
Unemployment increased mainly due to the decreasing employment but slightly also due to the decreasing inactivity in the 2nd quarter of 2009 compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year. The number of inactive persons (students, retired persons, homemakers, etc.) aged 15–74 was 354,000, which is by 5,000 persons less than in the same period a year earlier. The number of persons inactive due to studies decreased the most. It was caused by the decreasing number of young people in the studying age.
Besides the increase in the number of unemployed persons, the number of persons forced to work part-time due to the lack of work or orders (the so-called underemployed) continued to grow. During the year the number of underemployed persons grew from 3,000 to 15,000.
The estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey. Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since 1995 and every quarter 5,000 persons participate in it. The Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all European Union Member States on the basis of harmonised methodology. Unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the sum of employed and unemployed persons.
PRESS RELEASE August 14
Unemployment at record high among Estonian men