According to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey the number of persons in the labour force in November 2016 was 197,000. Of those in the labour force 191,900 persons were employed and 5,100 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 83%, the employment rate was 80.8% and the unemployment rate was 2.6%. Comparison between December 2015 and 2016 shows increase in activity by two percentage points of the total population. Number of employed increased by 7,000 persons and the rate went up by 1.4 points. Number of unemployed increased by 1,500 persons and the unemployment rate was 0.7 points higher.

Figure 1. Labour force December 2016


Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 2.9% in December
The changes in the Icelandic labour market display a certain pattern as regards seasonality, as can be seen in the figures below. The seasonal adjustment estimates that in December 2016 the number of people in the labour force was 200,300, corresponding to 84.4% activity rate which is 0.3 percentage points lower than in November. The number of unemployed persons, in December 2016, is estimated around 5,900 and has decreased by 100 since November. The unemployment rate was 2.9% in December compared to 3% in November. According to the seasonal adjustment the employment rate was 81.9% in December. The trend for seasonally adjusted data in the last six months shows that the unemployment rate has stayed the same, but in the last 12 months it has decreased by 0.4 points. The employment rate has increased by 0.4 points in the last six months and by 1.4 points in the last 12 months.


Implementation
December 2016 is divided into four weeks, from November 28th to 1st of January 2017. The total sample size was 1,513 persons, 16–74 years, randomly chosen from the Population Register. When those who had passed away and those who were living abroad had been deducted from the sample the net sample was 1,469 persons. In total the number of usable answers was 1.056 which corresponds to 71.9% response rate. All figures have been weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the results on activity rate is ±2.2 points, employment rate is ±2.3 points and unemployment rate is ±1.1 point. Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Table 1. Labour market in December - Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2014 (±95%) 2015 (±95%) 2016 (±95%)
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 80.0 2.5 81.0 2.5 83.0 2.2
Employment rate 76.6 2.7 79.4 2.6 80.8 2.3
Unemployment rate 4.3 1.5 1.9 1 2.6 1.1
Hours of work 36.9 1.4 37.7 1.3 37.7 1.2
Labour force 183,700 5,800 188,500 5,900 197,000 5,200
Employed 175,800 6,200 184,900 6,100 191,900 5,500
Unemployed 7,900 2,800 3,600 1,900 5,100 2,200
Inactive 45,900 5,800 44,200 5,900 40,400 5,200
Est. population 229,600 232,700 237,300
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months - Seasonal adjustment
  Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 83.0 84.0 84.1 83.2 84.7 84.4
Employment rate 80.6 81.4 81.4 80.8 82.2 81.9
Unemployment rate 2.9 3.0 3.2 2.8 3.0 2.9
Hours of work 39.8 39.8 40.4 40.1 40.0 40.1
Labour force 195,200 197,000 198,500 197,400 200,900 200,300
Employed 189,600 191,100 192,000 191,800 194,900 194,400
Unemployed 5,600 6,000 6,400 5,600 6,000 5,900
Inactive 40,100 37,600 37,500 40,000 36,200 37,000
Est. population 235,300 234,600 236,000 237,400 237,200 237,300
Table 3. Labour market last 6 months - Seasonal adjustment trend
  Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 83.6 83.7 83.8 83.8 83.9 84.0
Employment rate 81.2 81.3 81.4 81.4 81.5 81.6
Unemployment rate 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.8 2.8
Hours of work 40.0 40.0 40.1 40.1 40.0 40.0
Labour force 196,300 197,000 197,700 198,400 199,200 199,900
Employed 190,600 191,200 191,900 192,700 193,600 194,200
Unemployed 5,700 5,800 5,800 5,700 5,700 5,600
Inactive 38,400 38,300 38,200 38,200 38,200 38,100
Est. population 234,700 235,200 235,900 236,600 237,400 238,000

Statistics