Estonia under pressure to curb unemployment

30.08.2010, 14:08

International business community expects Estonia to quickly bring its unemployment down to below 10%, says Aivar Rehe, CEO of Sampo Pank in Estonia.

Commenting the news that Estonia's unemployment in the second quarter was  18.6% with about 128,000 people being out of job, Rehe said in an interview to ERR, Rehe said that the Estonian state has made its absolute priority to maximise measures in reducing unemployment.

Rehe said that the economy was undergoing structural changes as domestic demand remained weak and companies were facing the need to boost exports.
Speaking on the issue of wages, Rehe said that as exports and productivity continued growing, employers might be ready to increase wage costs reasonably.

"I also expect to see competition to grow in employment and wage terms, especially for qualified workforce, already this year," he said.

Nordea Markets wrote in its new economic outlook today that high unemployment rate was one of the main problems facing Estonian authorities over the next couple of years. "Although some labour market indicators have pointed towards some easing in unemployment, the unemployment rate is still high and especially long-term unemployment as well as youth unemployment remains elevated. However, an improved labour market situation is necessary for sustainable growth in private consumption," said the authors of the report.