As of 1 January 2023, the population of Estonia is 1 357 739 people. Estonia is characterised by the simplicity and speed of its administrative management, with many e-services to support people entering into the labour market.
In the first quarter of 2022, 677 400 people were employed and the employment rate was 69.2%. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 5.4% and the activity rate was 73.5%.
Labour needs in Estonia are forecast by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The number of senior and mid-level specialists is growing, while the share of those groups of professions for which fewer professional skills are sufficient is decreasing. The need for a new labour force is mainly shaped by the number of employees leaving the labour market that need to be replaced by newcomers, except in sectors such as communication technology (ICT). OSKA sector-specific studies highlight a growing need for ICT specialists, technicians and mechatronics specialists, engineers in different technical fields, forestry machine operators, nurses, care providers, physiotherapists, psychologists, business and data analysts, and also industrial and service designers. New workers are also needed in job-rich occupations that have a higher turnover, such as motor vehicle drivers, teachers (especially STEM teachers), childcare organisation support specialists, nurses, care workers and highly skilled construction workers. The fields studied to date have revealed that there are too few graduates in specialist roles such as system analysts, software developers, engineers in different fields, and also speech therapists. Among the highly skilled workers category, there is a lack of trained plumbers, carpenters, mechatronics specialists and machine operators, as well as wood treaters and harvester drivers.
A more thorough overview of the labour market situation, future trends and training needs is available in the OSKA (monitoring and prognosis system for labour force needs) general report ‘Estonia’s labour market today and tomorrow’.
According to the evaluation carried out in October 2022, the demand for labour is expected to rise over the next year in the following professions:
- Audiologists and speech therapists
- Highly skilled construction workers
- Care providers at home
- Metal workers
- Medical staff
- Painters and carpenters
- Application programmers
- System analysts
- Software developers
- Web and multimedia developers
- Lorry drivers
According to the October 2022 evaluation, the coming year will see a significant labour surplus for the following occupations:
- Data entry clerks
- Accounting officers
- Clerical and secretarial staff