TALLINN - In the first half of 2010, the number of labor market measures implemented in Estonia has been bigger than planned and the cost of unemployment compensation has been smaller than projected, says the Unemployment Insurance Fund, reports news agency LETA. CEO of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Meelis Paavel, stated that the fund’s priority this year is to implement measures that support job-creation and employment; this is also reflected in the volumes of the provision of related services.
“In comparison to the first half of last year, the volumes of pay subsidies, work internship and start-up business grants have grown more than the other services and the reality is that the volumes planned in the beginning of the year have already been fulfilled in the first half of the year,” he said. Paavel explained that hence, the budget of the fund’s services has been increased this year – the fund received 100 million kroons (6.4 million euros) of extra funds.
“For example, this year more people have found employment with pay subsidies than did in the first half of 2009,” explained Paavel. “Another significantly increased number, besides provision of labor market services, is the number of job offers mediated by the Unemployment Insurance Fund. In the first half of the year, we mediated a total of 18,717 job vacancies – more than during the entire year of 2009,” he added.
In the first half of 2010, the number of people who started taking part in the labor market services was 25 percent higher than during the same period in 2009. Amounts of pay subsidies and work internships have grown in the year-on-year comparison, faster than the volumes of other services. In the first half of 2010 there were a total of 2,269 persons who started a work internship, and 5,198 persons found employment with pay subsidies.
While the Fund has provided more active labor market measures than projected in the beginning of the year, the spending on unemployment insurance compensation has been smaller than projected. In the first half of 2010, a total of 19,498 persons were determined to start receiving unemployment insurance compensation – a third less than last year.
In total, the Unemployment Insurance Fund has assumed obligations for paying insurance benefits and social tax in the total amount of 898 million kroons in the first half of the year. During this same period, the unemployment insurance tax revenue collected amounts to 1.3 billion kroons. Thus, in the first half of 2010, the assets of the Fund have grown by 392 million kroons.
The number of registered unemployed has fallen in Estonia since the end of the first quarter of 2010. While in the first quarter the registered unemployment rate continued increasing (by a total of 9 percent), in the second quarter there was a decline of 15 percent. As of end of the first half of the year, there were a total of 81,050 registered unemployed persons.