Food, chemicals, electronics, and construction are important sectors in the Estonian economy, with oil shale mining also an important activity. Estonia is facing population decline, but this has been counterbalanced by increasing levels of economic activity in the working-age population. Education has traditionally been highly valued in Estonia, with the population attaining relatively high levels of education compared with the EU average. In general, tertiary level education is valued higher than vocational education and training.
Whilst employment is projected to rise, it will remain below its 2008 pre-crisis level over the period to 2025. Most employment growth will be in business and other services, and most job opportunities over this period will be for professionals.
In the period to 2025, Estonia is forecast to experience a decrease in demand for all skills profiles (high, low and medium). Meanwhile the share of Estonia’s labour force with high and low level qualifications is projected to rise in the same period, whilst the share of workers with medium level qualifications will decline.
Estonia’s working-age population (15-64) is projected to decrease in the period to 2025, with labour market participation also declining, although it is expected to remain above the EU28 average. Looking to the longer-term future, Estonia is expected to have an old-age dependency ratio close to the EU28 average.