Estonia — Labour Market Integration of Refugees from Ukraine (January - March 2024)

The IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix collected data through Surveys with Refugees in the Ukraine Response region from January to March 2024. In Estonia, a total of 958 surveys were collected. This report focuses on the economic integration of the respondents, delving deeper into their employment profiles, skills, and prospects for participation in the local labour market. 

Key findings:

  • 85% of respondents were active, while 15% were inactive.
  • Within the active population, 72% were employed and 28% were unemployed and looking for a job.
  • Among the inactive population, 22% were on parental leave, 26% were retired, 27% were students and 14% were unemployed and not looking for a job.
  • The majority of Ukrainian refugees depend on their income (62%) as the main source for daily expenses. However, over two-fifths (42%) of respondents rely on the authorities’ support, 33% on familial support and 11% on their savings. 9% still receive welfare benefits from Ukraine.
  • 22% did not attend any type of language classes for Estonian. However 46% are attending language classes at schools, over one quarter have classes with migration authorities and 18% receive online classes.
  • The majority of respondents have not received any remittances (83%). 17% received 20 to 2,000 euros. Among recipients, 43% stated they have spent from 10 to 2,000 euros, whereas 57 per cent haven’t spent any of their remittances.
  • Regarding entrepreneurship, many displaced Ukrainians are inter­ested in opening their own business (29%). 3% already own their own business and 8% are unsure of wanting to. A significant proportion (80%) are not interested in having their own business.
  • For the first time, IOM’s DTM questioned respondents regarding workplace exploitation in Estonia, uncovering that 5% of those surveyed had encountered some degree of labour exploitation.