During the 12 month period from March 2017 to February 2018, the average total number of employers in Iceland was 17,097 and the average number of employees was 184,300. This is an increase of 662 (3.9%) employers and 8,400 (4.6%) employees compared with the period from March 2016 to February 2017.

In February 2018, there were 1,727 employers and about 24,700 employees in activities related to tourism, the number of employees having increased by 700 (3%) compared with February 2017. Although the number of employees in tourism is still increasing the growth has slowed down. During this 12 month period, the total number of employees increased by 6,800 (4%).

Table 1. Number of employers and employees in selected activities¹
  Employers Employees February
  Feb. 2018 2017 2018 Change %
All activities   17,097 177,500 184,300 6,800 4
Fisheries (NACE no. 031, 102) 451 7,800 8,300 600 7
Manufacturing except fish processing (NACE no. 10-33 except 102) 1,039 16,400 16,600 200 1
Construction (NACE no. 41-43) 2,635 11,300 12,700 1,500 13
Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 45) 487 3,300 3,400 100 2
Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 46) 966 8,400 8,600 200 3
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 47) 847 14,500 15,000 500 3
Public administration, compulsory social security and education (NACE no. 84-85) 575 39,400 40,800 1,400 4
Human health and social work activities (NACE no. 86-88) 1,118 15,700 16,600 1,000 6
Tourism industries (NACE no. 491, 4932, 4939, 501, 503, 511, 551-553, 561, 563, 771, 7721, 79) 1,727 24,000 24,700 700 3
High technology manufacturing and services (NACE no. 20, 254, 26-30, 325, 53, 58, 60-63, 72) 894 12,900 12,900 0 0
Creative industries (NACE no. 3212, 58-60, 6201-6202, 7021, 7111, 731, 741-743, 8552, 90, 9101-9102) 1,579 9,300 8,700 -600 -6
¹ A detailed description of theese activities can be found in the metadata

Causes of error and revision of statistics
The aforementioned figures are preliminary. Having income data as the source, there is a risk of underestimating the latest figures when employers do not submit information in a timely manner. Other causes of error include reimbursement to former employees. When new data are published, previous figures are revised. For more information on how figures are revised and the magnitude of recent revisions, please refer to the metadata and the summary of revisions.

Previously published statistics on employers and employees have been revised, taking into account the latest available information on salaries and classification of employers based on their main economic activities.

The number of employers in January 2018 is now estimated as 17,248 and the total number of employees is estimated as 184,300. The number of employees increased by 8,400 (4.7%) from January 2017 to January 2018.
In March, the number of employers and employees in January 2018 was estimated as 16,774 and 183,000, respectively. The number of employees was then estimated to have increased by 7,000 (4.4%) from January 2017 to January 2018.

Other statistics on business economy

Statistics Iceland publishes annual income and balance statements of enterprises by activity, based on tax returns, providing a detailed picture of the individual sectors for the period 2002-2016.

Statistics Iceland conducts a continuous labour force survey (LFS). The main results (e.g. unemployment) are published monthly and more detailed results (number of full time employees, working hours by industry etc.) are published annually. The labour force survey provides information on both employees and self-employed, and only people who are permanently living in Iceland are included in the sample. Hence, the LFS-figures are not the same as published in this press release. Data on the number of employers and employees should be used mainly as short-time indicators and to provide information on within-year variations.

It should be noted that these figures do not include information on the self-employed with calculated remuneration, a setup common in construction, agriculture and creative industries. Statistics Iceland has started publishing register-based data on people in employment, including those who are on maternity leave or self-employed. That publication encompasses the number of employees by gender, age, background and legal residence. Those figures will be updated monthly on Statistics Iceland’s website.

   Activities related to tourism 
   All economic activities