The number of persons 16-74 years old in the labour force in the 3rd quarter of 2017 was 198,600 corresponding to an activity rate of 82%. The number of employed persons was 194,300 while unemployed persons were 4,300. The employment rate was 80.2% and the unemployment rate 2.2%. From the 3rd quarter of 2016 the number of employed persons stayed the same but the employment rate decreased by 2.1 percentage points. At the same time the number of unemployed persons decreased by 900 and the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 points. The unemployment rate among females was 2.5% and 1.9% among males.
Long-term unemployment has decreased
Long-term unemployment increased substantially in Iceland between 2009 and 2012, but is now at the same low levels as before 2009. In 3rd quarter of 2017, 400 persons were long-term unemployed or 0.2% of the total labour force and 10.3% of the total unemployed. In the 3rd quarter of 2016 long-term unemployed persons were 600 or 0.3% of the labour force and 11.9% of the total unemployed.
Persons are classified as unemployed when they have no employment, are actively seeking a job and could start working within two weeks or have found a job which starts within three months. Students who are not employed and fulfil this criteria are considered unemployed. People are classified as working (employed) if they worked one hour or more in the reference week or were absent from work they usually carry out.
Average working hours
In the 3rd quarter of 2017 the average number of persons at work in the reference week was 161,200, or 66.6% of the population 16-74 years old and 83% of all in employment. The average number of working hours for those at work was 40.5 hours, 44.3 hours for those in full-time employment and 25.9 hours for those in part-time employment.
Labour market statistics, 3rd quarter 2016 - Statistical Series