Job openings still below 2008 levels.
TALLINN - Chief analyst of the Statistics Board Siim Krusell noted that in 2011, job opportunities improved in Estonia and the decline in real pay was stopped, but the share of long-term unemployed people among all unemployed persons increased, reports National Broadcasting. Krusell noted in his analysis that the assessment on whether Estonia has been successful in overcoming the crisis or not largely depends on which indicators are used. According to him, attention needs to be paid on the social welfare sector, and not just on economic indicators.
In 2010, the number of available jobs started growing, but the tally remained far behind the level of job vacancies in 2008.
In 2011, the average unemployment rate fell to 12.5 percent – lower than in the first crisis year of 2009 when the unemployment rate was 13.8 percent. The number of unemployed persons fell until the third quarter of 2010, and after that quarter the number has stayed rather stable at approximately 70,000-80,000.
The share of long-term jobless persons among all unemployed persons has increased and they accounted for more than half of all unemployed individuals. In 2011, there were 50,000 of those who had been looking for work for more than a year, close to the number in 2010, but in 2012 the number of those who had been looking for work for at least two years grew to 30,000. The number of discouraged persons, i.e. those who have lost any hope to find employment, reached approximately 10,000.
Krusell stated that a total of 60,000 persons who are having serious difficulties in returning to the labor market could enhance problems in a number of areas and increase social stratification. In 2011, more than half of long-term unemployed persons were able to sustain themselves with great difficulties.
“Despite the improvement in job opportunities, for many people the long-term unemployment has caused not only subsistence problems, but also the risk of social marginalization,” wrote the analyst. “When looking at the 2011 indicators and their dynamics in the context of people being able to support themselves, there has been no decline in comparison to pre-crisis years, but there is also no reason to speak about improvements in subsistence levels,” he added.