It is too early yet to say how the second wave of the virus will affect the labour market
Unemployment rose to 7.7% in the third quarter from 7.1% in the previous quarter as people returned to the labour market. The number in employment was higher too than in the previous quarter, and the rise exceeded the usual seasonal summer increase.
The removal of restrictions eased the labour market in the summer and stopped the fall in employment. This is shown by the stabilisation in the number of employment contracts in the employment register and by data from Töötukassa indicating some decline in the number of unemployed. The labour market performed better than feared in October and early November, with no notable fall in the number of employment contracts and no sharp rise in redundancies even as the number registered as unemployed has risen.
The recovery from the crisis in the spring is expected to be slowed by the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Estonia and Estonia’s main trading partners are introducing restrictions in order to spare healthcare systems, and these will restrain economic activity in the final quarter of the year and weaken the labour market. It may be hoped that the good news about the effectiveness of the vaccines being tested and the promise of a vaccination programme starting soon will give companies enough confidence in returning demand that they will be encouraged to preserve jobs.
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