There were 201,700 persons aged from 16 to 74 in the labour force in December 2017, according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Thereof, 195,600 persons were employed and 6,100 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 81.8%, employment rate was 79.3% and unemployment rate was 3%.

Comparison between December 2016 and 2017 shows that even though the labour force has increased by 4,700 the activity rate has reduced by 1.2 percentage points. The number of people in employment increased by 3,700 and the employment rate decreased by 1.5 percentage points. The number of unemployed increased by 1,000 and the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 points. Those inactive were 44,900 compared with 40,400 persons in December 2016.

Flow Chart — Labour force 16–74 years — December 2017



Figures may not add up because of rounding. CI (95%) Unemployment rate:Total ±1.4, males ±1.5; females ±2.5

Seasonally adjusted unemployment 3.3% 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 seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of people in the labour force was 204,800 in December 2017. This corresponds to an 83% activity rate which is 2.1 percentage points lower than in November 2017. The number of unemployed persons in December 2017 was estimated to be 6,800, an increase of 2,600 persons since November. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3% in December compared with 2.1% in November. The seasonally adjusted employment rate was 80.3% in December and increased by 1.1 percentage point between months. The estimated number of inactive people decreased from 46,700 in November to 41,900 in December. Despite the voilatility in the seasonally adjusted estimates the trend for the seasonal adjustment in the last six months shows little or no change for all of the labour force numbers.

Implementation
December 2017 is divided into four weeks, from 4th to 31st of December. The total sample size for the Labour Force Survey was 1,215 persons, 16–74 years old, selected randomly from the registered population. When individuals out of scope had been removed from the sample, the net sample was 1,186 persons. In total, the number of answers was 799 which correspond to 67.3% response rate. The results are weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the estimates on activity rate is ±2.6 percentage points, employment rate ±2.7 percentage points and unemployment rate ±1.4 percentage points, for December 2017. Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Table 1. Labour market in December — Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2015 (±95%) 2016 (±95%) 2017 (±95%)
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 81.0 2.5 83.0 2.2 81.8 2.6
Employment rate 79.4 2.6 80.8 2.3 79.3 2.7
Unemployment rate 1.9 1 2.6 1.1 3.0 1.4
Hours of work 37.7 1.3 37.7 1.2 37.6 1.4
Labour force 188,500 5,900 197,000 5,200 201,700 6,400
Employed 184,900 6,100 191,900 5,500 195,600 6,800
Unemployed 3,600 1,900 5,100 2,200 6,100 2,900
Inactive 44,200 5,900 40,400 5,200 44,900 6,400
Est. population 232,700 237,300 246,600
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment
  Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 81.3 81.7 81.2 83.0 80.9 83.0
Employment rate 79.7 79.4 78.7 79.9 79.2 80.3
Unemployment rate 1.9 2.8 3.1 3.7 2.1 3.3
Hours of work 39.2 39.6 39.3 39.9 39.4 40.0
Labour force 194,400 196,300 198,500 203,900 198,500 204,800
Employed 190,700 190,900 192,300 196,300 194,300 198,000
Unemployed 3,700 5,400 6,200 7,600 4,200 6,800
Inactive 44,800 44,000 45,800 41,700 46,700 41,900
Est. population 239,200 240,300 244,400 245,600 245,200 246,600
Table 3. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment trend
  Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 82.3 82.1 82.1 82.1 82.3 82.4
Employment rate 79.9 79.7 79.6 79.7 79.9 80.0
Unemployment rate 2.9 2.9 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.9
Hours of work 39.7 39.7 39.7 39.7 39.7 39.7
Labour force 198,600 199,000 199,700 200,800 202,000 202,800
Employed 192,800 193,100 193,800 194,900 196,100 197,000
Unemployed 5,800 5,900 5,900 5,900 5,900 5,900
Inactive 42,700 43,300 43,700 43,700 43,500 43,300
Est. population 241,300 242,300 243,400 244,500 245,500 246,200

Statistics