Estonian unemployment continues to climb

  • 2010-05-20
  • Oskars Magone

Though the Estonian econormy seems to be turning around, unemployment rates continue to climb unabated.

TALLINN --  Unemployment in Estonia has continued its sharp increase through the first quarter of the year despite other economic indicators in the country showing signs of improvment.

Estonia's national statistics agency reported that the increase in unemployment was comparable to the increase at the outset of the economic crisis.

"Similarly to the beginning of the previous year, the unemployment increased rapidly also in the current year. The unemployment rate rose from 15.5% in the 4th quarter of the previous year to 19.8% in the 1st quarter of the current year. In the 1st quarter of 2009 the unemployment rate was 11.4%.," the statistics agency said in a May 20 report.

Though unemployment continues to increase unabatedly in the Baltic States' strongest economy, Statistics Estonia said that there was a silver lining - people were becoming more hopeful about their prospects of finding work.

"The unemployment was record high in the beginning of the current year, but people’s expectations concerning possibilities to find a job have still improved. This is indicated by the decrease in the number of discouraged persons."

The other Baltic States face similar problems with unemployment, with the Baltics regularly topping Europe's unemployment charts. Estonia now rivals Latvia and Spain at the top of the list.

To point, the report was released on the same day that Latvian President Valdis Zatlers told reporters that unemployment, particularly amoung the youth, was the worst problem facing the countryt the moment.