The occupational barometer is a qualitative method of forecasting short-term labour demand by occupation. The estimates are compiled by the regional departments of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, which involve external experts wherever possible.
Labour demand forecasts look at two indicators. Firstly, an evaluation is made of how employers' demand for labour will change in the next 12 months: how employers' demand for specific occupations will change within the 12 months following evaluation. Will it increase, decrease or remain unchanged? Secondly, the balance between labour supply and demand after the next 12 months is evaluated: what will the ratio be between the existing labour force on the labour market and employers' demand after the 12 months following evaluation? Will there be a labour surplus, labour shortage or a balance in occupations on the labour market?
We use the ISCO* classification of occupations (the International Standard Classification of Occupations) created by ILO (the International Labour Organization) to evaluate labour demand. We evaluate occupations that correspond to the fourth level of ISCO. The same classification and level of accuracy is used by other countries that have implemented the occupational barometer**.
Only the most important occupations in the regions are evaluated, so not all occupations at the fourth level of ISCO are shown. Our priority is to evaluate the occupations that are the most frequently occurring in the region based on statistics regarding the registered unemployed and the vacancies mediated by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. The evaluators are well-informed about the trends in these occupations. It may be the case that some relevant occupations fall outside the scope of the evaluated list by default as we are focusing on the registered unemployed and vacancies mediated by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. That is why we also evaluate occupations that the evaluators consider to be relevant in their region.
We evaluate the general trends on the labour market, not seasonality. Evaluations are made in April and October, with the same changes in labour demand being seen in seasonal employment from year to year. We do not focus on seasonal changes on the labour market but concentrate on general trends. When it comes to occupations in the construction section, for example, it is important to see how construction market activity develops in a specific region and how labour demand changes as a result. On the other hand, this example requires information about the skilled labour force in the region and how the labour force is affected by external factors (construction market activity in neighbouring countries, etc.).
The number of registered unemployed and vacancies mediated by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund in the last year will be displayed as background information next to every evaluated occupation on the map***. This may not be in accordance with future estimates. This data reflects past information. The future situation may differ substantially from the forecast situation. Bear in mind that not all unemployed people and vacancies are handled by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, so one should be careful when drawing conclusions about the past on the basis of statistics alone.
We base our estimates on the employers' perspective. Employers' and employees' viewpoints about the situation of a specific occupation on the labour market may differ. This may be the case when there is enough free and qualified labour force (job seekers) but job seekers refuse to work in the sector because of the low salaries. On the one hand, there seems to be a labour surplus, but on the other hand, there are unfilled vacancies in the sector, which means that there is a labour shortage for the employer. We base our estimates on the employers' perspective to make sure that the evaluation is carried out on a uniform basis.
In the poster and table views the result for Estonia as a whole is based on the total weighting of county assessments. We use the county workforce data of Statistics Estonia in this weighting. For Estonia as a whole we highlight those professions where at least half of the entire Estonian workforce is amassed in the counties assessed or which were assessed in at least half of the counties.
We would like to thank all of the partners who took part in the evaluation process: CV Online, Läänemaa Arenduskeskus, SA Tuuru, Pärnumaa Ettevõtlus- ja Arenduskeskus, SA Ida-Virumaa Ettevõtluskeskus, SA Jõgevamaa Arendus- ja Ettevõtluskeskus, SA Saaremaa Arenduskeskus, Valgamaa Arenguagentuur.
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to e-mail them to us at baromeeter [ä] tootukassa [dot] ee.
*Learn more about the description of ISCO in Estonian on the Statistics Estonia website at http://metaweb.stat.ee/view_xml.htm?id=3005499&siteLanguage=ee and in English on the International Labour Organization website at http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/index.htm.
**Website of the Finnish occupational barometer in English: https://www.ammattibarometri.fi/?kieli=en ; website of the Polish occupational barometer in English: https://barometrzawodow.pl/en/site/index
***Data for the October evaluation are gathered from 1 October in the year preceding the evaluation until 30 September in the evaluation year. Data for the April evaluation are gathered from 1 April in the year preceding the evaluation until 31 March in the evaluation year. For example, you can find data about the registered unemployed and vacancies mediated by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund in the period from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 as background information next to the results from the 2016 October evaluation. If a person was registered with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund several times during this period, then only the most recent work experience is shown.