Estonia - Unemployment

Estonia: Unemployment

Mnemonic LBU.IEST
Unit Ths. #, NSA
Adjustments Not Seasonally Adjusted
Quarterly 15.64 %
Data 2021 Q3 39.9
2021 Q2 47.3

Series Information

Source Statistics Estonia
Release Labor market
Frequency Quarterly
Start Date 3/31/1989
End Date 9/30/2021

Estonia: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Labor Force 2021 Q3 697.5 689.2 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Labor Force Employment 2021 Q3 657.6 641.9 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Unemployment 2021 Q3 39.9 47.3 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Unemployment Rate 2021 Q3 5.7 6.9 %, NSA Quarterly
Wage & Salaries 2021 Q3 3,786 3,731 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Primary Industries Employment 2020 19.5 21.3 Ths. # Annual
Secondary Industries Employment 2020 191.3 192.7 Ths. # Annual
Tertiary Industries Employment 2020 445.8 457.3 Ths. # Annual
Agriculture Employment 2017 26,896 27,028 # Annual

Release Information

The Estonian Labour Force Survey is based on the definitions from the International Labour Organisation that allow for comparision of collected data to other countries.The dataset provides information on the employed persons by place of residence (urban settlement or rural settlement), county and sector of economy (primary, secondary or tertiary sector), employed persons by county and age group and labor status of population aged between 15 to 74 by county.

  • Measurements:
    • Thousands of persons (Ths. #)
    • Percent (%)
  • Adjustment: Not seasonally adjusted (NSA) 
  • Native frequency: Quarterly
  • Start date: As early as 1989Q1, but most series start at 2000Q1
  • Geos: 
    • Country (IEST)
    • All 5 NUTS 3 areas (IEST_aaa)
    • LAU 1 areas / municipalities (IEST_nnnnn)

The source writes:

The Statistical Office of Estonia conducted the first Labour Force Survey at the beginning of 1995 (ELFS 95). In 1997–1999 the survey was conducted in the 2nd quarter. Starting from the year 2000 the survey is a continuous survey providing quarterly and annual results. The reference weeks for the households in the sample are spread uniformly throughout the whole year, e.g. for every week of the year same number of interviews is done.

The target population of the survey are the working-age residents of Estonia (aged 15–74). Since 2002, the date of birth is taken into account then calculating the age of the respondent: the working age population is the population between the ages of 15 and 74 in the reference week.

The expansion of the data of the Labour Force Survey is based on the estimated population of as of January 1st of the reference year. The expansion coefficients have been calculated according to county, sex and 5-year age groups.

All the data presented are estimates of actual parameters. The estimates that are based on less than 20 persons of the sample have not been published (in tables the symbol “..”) as not sufficiently reliable.

Due to rounding, the total sums in tables are not always equal with the total. The difference can be up to some last decimal places.


The Economically active population / labour force includes persons who wish and are able to work and is the total of employed and unemployed persons.

Employed person are those who engaged in the following activity during the reference period: worked and was paid as a wage earner, entrepreneur or a free-lancer; worked without direct payment in a family enterprise or on his / her own farm; was temporarily absent from work.

Employment rate is the share of the employed in the working-age population.

The share of the labour force (total number of the employed and unemployed) in the working-age population makes up the Labour force participation rate / activity rate.

An unemployed person meets the following three conditions: he or she is without work (does not work anywhere at the moment and is not temporarily absent from work); he or she is currently (in the course of two weeks) available for work if there should be work; he or she is actively seeking work.

Unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force.

Urban settlement includes cities, cities without municipal status and towns.

Rural settlement includes small towns and villages.

Primary sector includes agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing.

Secondary sector includes mining, manufacturing, electricity, gas & water supply and construction.

Tertiary sector includes trade, services, etc.

Moody's Analytics supplements

For the LFS quartet for the country and NUTS 3 areas, we compute seasonally adjusted counterparts.