TALLINN - There were approximately 10,500 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the number of job vacancies has exceeded 10,000 since the first quarter of 2017.
The number of job vacancies was at the same level in the fourth quarter of 2017, but compared to the third quarter of 2018, the number of job vacancies decreased by 8 percent. In 2018, there were approximately 10,575 job vacancies in the first quarter, approximately 11,430 job vacancies in the second quarter and approximately 11,440 job vacancies in the third quarter, it appears from data published by Statistics Estonia.
The total number of posts (vacant and occupied) was 597,500 in the fourth quarter of 2018, having decreased by 0.5 percent compared to the previous quarter. The economic activities of manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and education continued to have the largest shares in the total number of posts.
Manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade are the biggest employers in Estonia -- in the fourth quarter of 2018, there were respectively 1,747 and 1,756 job vacancies in these activities. Manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade were followed by public administration and defense with 928 vacant posts.
The rate of job vacancies, or the share of job vacancies in the total number of posts, was 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, which is 0.1 percentage points lower than in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the fourth quarter, the rate of job vacancies was highest in information and communication and public administration and defense and lowest in real estate activities and in mining and quarrying.
In the fourth quarter, 29 percent of the vacant posts were in the public sector. The rate of job vacancies was highest in enterprises owned by foreign private entities at 2.2 percent and in municipal institutions and enterprises at 2.1 percent. The rate of job vacancies was 1.8 percent in state institutions and enterprises and 1.5 percent in enterprises owned by Estonian private entities.
Most of the vacant posts, 72 percent, were available in Harju county, including Tallinn which accounted for 60 percent, followed by Tartu County with 9 percent, East-Viru County with 6 percent and Parnu County with 5 percent. The rate of job vacancies was highest in Harju and Rapla counties at 2.1 percent and lowest in Hiiu County at 0.4 percent, and Polva and Voru counties at 0.5 percent.
The movement of labor is characterized by labor turnover -- the total number of engaged and left employees -- which amounted to nearly 100,200 in the fourth quarter of 2018, remaining at the same level compared to the third quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2018, both the number of employees hired and the number of employees who left their job were highest in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and construction. 10 percent of all the employees who left their job were employees who left on the employer's initiative.