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Where are the available workers?

The largest groups among those registered as unemployed were service and sales workers (18,3%), craft and related trades workers (15,9%) and unskilled workers (18,2%).

Text last edited on 07/2020

Where are the available jobs?

The total number of vacant and occupied posts in the first quarter 2020 was 609,211. The sectors providing the largest source of employment were manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and education. In June 2020, public employment services mediated 9 431 job vacancies in Estonia. The sectors with the most job vacancies were manufacturing, public administration and defence, education and human health and social work. The Work in Estonia  website provides an overview of job vacancies and information about relocation for foreign job seekers.

Text last edited on 07/2020

Short overview of the labour market:

The Estonian job market is characterized by a high labour participation rate. The unemployment rate in Estonia (pop. 1,3 mln.) over the last number of years has ranged between 4–5%, which is relatively low. The registered unemployment rate in July 2020, in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, stands at 7,9%.

The following sectors are expected to provide the most employment opportunities: ICT services, highly qualified specialists, water and waste treatment, energy supply services, healthcare and social services, arts and recreation. In Estonia, there is a shortage of plumbers, carpenters, mechatronic engineers and machine operators, as well as harvester operators and plywood processing staff. The timbre, electronics and electric appliances industries are expected to see a large increase in demand for employment in the near future. Estonia will also experience an acute shortage of teachers, educational support specialists, nurses, caretakers, construction workers and motor vehicle drivers due to the high median age of workers in these sectors.

Occupations expected to have the largest numbers of job openings in Estonia over the next years are the following:

  • Information and communication technology: software analysts, architects; software developers; ICT systems analysts and architects; ICT systems developers and managers, electronic engineers, telecommunications engineers

  • Forestry and timber industry: harvester operators, forwarder operators, timber lorry and chipper drivers, production managers, timber structure designers, product developers, furniture technologists, technical drawers, production equipment technicians, builders and manufacturers of wooden houses (including hand-crafted log houses), timber construction builders, CNC bench operators, line operators

  • Accounting: financial controllers, accounting analysts, development managers

  • Social work: care workers, client worker for people with mental health problems

  • Healthcare: care workers, nurses, pharmacists

  • Metal and engineering industry: engineers, service technicians and mechatronics, CNC Machine Tool setters and operators

  • Chemical, rubber, plastic and building material industry: industrial engineers, industrial machinery and machinery mechanics, industrial equipment and machinery installers

  • Construction: building automation technicians, engineers, flat roofers, builders of constructions (builders of wooden structures, construction carpenters), work managers, water system and indoor climate technicians

  • Energy and mining: mining engineers, electrical and energy engineers, industrial engineers, energy and electrical engineering technicians, manufacturing operators and managers, electricians, mechanics and locksmiths

  • Transport, logistics, sales and repair of motor vehicles: shipping electrical engineers, transportation and logistics manager, specialists

  • Apparel, textile and leather industry: engineers, technicians, constructors, technologists

  • Education and research: special educators

  • The agriculture and food industry: service technicians and mechatronics, industrial engineers

The plurality of vacant posts is to be found in the capital region – Tallinn and Harjumaa, followed by the Tartu, Ida-Viru and Põlva counties. More detailed information is available at the public employment services occupational barometer

It is important to bear in mind that, although wages in Estonia are noticeably below those of Northern and Western European countries, it is still quite high compared to Central and Eastern European countries and is approaching the level of Southern European countries. More information about wages in Estonia is available at Statistics Estonia

Text last edited on 07/2020

Hot jobs:

Top 10 sectors with the greatest need of new workers in Estonia (information based on the public employment services data (ISCO-4):

  1. Elementary occupations (ISCO 9622)

  2. Crop farm labourers: agricultural workers, berry pickers (ISCO 9211)

  3. Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers (ISCO 9214)

  4. Cleaners and helpers (ISCO 9112)

  5. Building and related trades workers (excluding electricians) (ISCO 7111)

  6. Sales workers (ISCO 5223)

  7. Cooks (ISCO 5120)

  8. Welders and flame cutters (ISCO 7212)

  9. Textile, fur and leather products machine operators (ISCO 8153)

  10. Manufacturing labourers not elsewhere classified (ISCO 9329)

Text last edited on 07/2020

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