According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday, there were nearly 10,600 job vacancies at Estonia's businesses, institutions and organisations in the first quarter of 2018, remaining unchanged compared to the previous quarter but decreasing by 6% on year.
First quarter job vacancies down 6% on year
The number of job vacancies has exceeded 10,000 for the past five quarters in a row.
The economic activities of manufacturing (18%), wholesale and retail trade (15%), and education (10%) continued to have the largest shares in the total number of posts, vacant and occupied. Manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade also account for the highest number of job vacancies. In the first quarter of 2018, by the number of job vacancies, these economic activities were followed by public administration and defence.
Since the beginning of 2018, Statistics Estonia uses the data of the employment register of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) to estimate the number of occupied posts and labour turnover — as a result, the total number of posts increased by 8% compared to the previous quarter, amounting to 596,000 in the first quarter of 2018.
The rate of job vacancies, i.e. the share of job vacancies in the total number of posts was 1.8% in the first quarter of 2018, which is 0.1% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 0.2 percentage points lower than in the first quarter of 2017.
In the first quarter, the rate of job vacancies was the highest in public administration and defence (2.9%) and in financial and insurance activities (2.8%). The rate of job vacancies was the lowest, meanwhile, in mining and quarrying (0.2%) and in real estate activities (0.4%).
Most of the vacant posts were available in Harju County (70%), including Tallinn (60%), followed by Tartu County (9%) and Ida-Viru County (6%). The rate of job vacancies was the highest in Jõgeva (2.3%) and Harju (2.1%) Counties and the lowest in Hiiu (0.5%) County.
In the first quarter, nearly 30% of the vacant posts were in the public sector. The rate of job vacancies was the highest in state institutions an enterprises (2.1%) and in enterprises owned by foreign private entities (2.1%). The rate of job vacancies in municipal institutions an enterprises was 2.0% and in enterprises owned by Estonian private entities 1.5%.
The movement of labour is characterised by labour turnover (the total number of engaged employees and those who have left), which amounted to approximately 91,000 in the first quarter of 2018, denoting a 9% decrease compared to the previous quarter and a 16% increase compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, the largest decrease in labour turnover occurred in mining and quarrying and real estate activities and the largest increase in public administration and defence. In the first quarter of 2018, both the number of employees hired and the number of employees who left their job were the highest in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and construction.