Estonia’s unemployment rate lowest compared with Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine


Marketplaces OU, an Estonian technology company operating classifieds and real estate marketplace portals in Ukraine, studied labor markets in the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine to determine key changes over the past ten years and the impact of the coronavirus, and discovered that unemployment in Estonia is lowest in the studied region.

en years ago, unemployment rates were high in Estonia as well as in other Baltic states following the late 2000s global economic crisis. The share of unemployed people among employable residents aged 15 to 74 was 16.7%. The situation has changed over the subsequent ten years, bringing the proportion of the unemployed to 4.4% by the end of last year. The coronavirus introduced a new shift in the trend, however, damaging the hospitality sector, resulting in redundancies and bringing unemployment to 7.1%, or close to 50,000 people.

Compared with Jan. 5, 2020, employment has grown 14.1% in agriculture and forestry and 2.5% in finance and insurance. Employment in the IT sector has increased 1.1%. 

The unemployment rate in Latvia in 2010 was 19.5%, whereas the corresponding figure at the end of 2019 stood at 6.3% and the number of unemployed people totaled around 61,000.

As a result of the economic impact of the epidemic, the unemployment rate in Latvia had grown to 10.1% by the end of June 2020 — the same level as six years ago. Layoffs were most extensive in tourism, culture, entertainment and passenger transport. Latvia is planning to increase the number of distance learning courses for the unemployed, particularly those focusing on IT skills, according to the Latvian State Employment Agency. 

An inflow of IT specialists has been observed in Latvia for some time already, particularly over the past couple of years.

The situation in Lithuania is similar to that in the other Baltic states. While the country’s unemployment rate stood at 17.8% in 2010, the share had dropped to 6.3%  by the end of 2019. By the end of June 2020, unemployment had grown to 9.4% and by Aug. 1 to 12.1%. The number of registered unemployed totaled 221,000, having increased by 83,000 compared with last year last year.

Unemployment in Belarus stood at 0.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Belarusian Ministry of Labor. The corresponding figure according to Belstat, the National Statistical Committee of Belarus, was 4.1 percent, however. Official data for the second quarter has yet to be made public. Unemployment rate in the Belarusian capital city is currently 0.1%, according to the labor committee of the Minsk city government. 1,038 people have been registered as unemployed.

Unemployment in Ukraine has grown over the past few years to the same level as 10 years ago. The figure, which stood at 7.3% last year, has risen to 9.6% by the start of August and registered unemployed numbered 502,000, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Unemployment may be close to 14 percent, according to unofficial data, however. According to the International Monetary Fund, the unemployment rate in Ukraine will be 12.6%  this year.

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