In the first quarter, creation of jobs took place in the private sector

Orsolya Soosaar, Eesti Pank, economist

The data disclosed today by Statistics Estonia confirm that the labour market is rebounding. Although the level of unemployment is still very high considering the growth potential of the Estonian economy, the number of the employed has increased markedly year-on-year - by 37,700 people.

People were also more interested in active participation in the labour market, which is partly the result of accelerating economic growth. Although the unemployment rate increased quarter-on-quarter, the growth was smaller than usual.

Job creation took place mostly in the private sector, which has been the primary growth driver owing to growing export volumes. Whereas exiting the recession was characterised by increasing productivity and the number of working hours, enterprises now include extra labour force to boost production. However, from the point of view of balanced economic development, labour costs should be kept in line with productivity.

Long-term unemployment growth in the first quarter was unavoidable due to the hike in unemployment exactly a year ago. There is continuous need to make labour market services targeted to the long-term unemployed more efficient.

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Viljar Rääsk
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