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Estonia Jobless Rate Rises In Q1

Estonia's jobless rate increased for the first time in four quarters during the three months to March, data from Statistics Estonia showed on Monday.

The unemployment rate climbed to 5.5 percent in the first quarter from 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter. In the same quarter last year, the jobless rate was 7.1 percent.

The number of unemployed increased by 3,300 persons sequentially to 39,600 persons in the first quarter.

"The number of people who had been out of work for more than a year was 11,100, a few thousand less than a year ago," Statistics Estonia analyst Katriin Põlluäär said.

The employment rate rose to 69.0 percent in the first quarter from 67.6 percent in the previous quarter.

The number of those with jobs rose by 24,800 persons year-on-year to 675,300 employed persons.

The labor force participation rate was 73.1 percent in the first quarter, which was the highest for a long time, the agency said.

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