There were 203,500 persons aged from 16 to 74 in the labour force in January 2018, according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Thereof, 195,500 persons were employed and 8,100 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 81.7%, employment rate was 78.5% and unemployment rate was 4.0%.

Comparison between January 2017 and 2018 shows that even though the labour force has increased by 12,300 the activity rate has increased by 1.3 percentage points. The number of people in employment increased by 11,800 and the employment rate increased by 1.2 percentage points. The number of unemployed increased by 600 and the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 point. Those inactive were 45,600 compared with 46,500 persons in January 2017.

Flow Chart — Labour force 16–74 years — January 2018



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

Seasonally adjusted unemployment 3.9% in January
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 209,400 in January 2018. This corresponds to an 83.4% activity rate which is 0.4 percentage points higher than in December 2017. The number of unemployed persons in January 2018 was estimated to be 8,300, an increase of 1,600 persons since December. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9% in January compared with 3.3% in December. The seasonally adjusted employment rate was 80.1% in January and decreased slightly or by 0.1 percentage point between months. The estimated number of inactive people decreased from 42,200 in December 2017 to 41,800 in January 2018.

The trend for seasonally adjusted data in the last six months shows that the unemployment rate has increased by 0.4 percentage points and in the last 12 months it has increased by 0.7 points. The employment rate has remained unchanged the past six months but decreased by 0.6 points in the last 12 months.

 

Implementation
January 2018 is divided into four weeks, from 1st to 28th of January. The total sample size for the Labour Force Survey was 1,526 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 1,497 persons. In total, the number of answers was 1,009 which correspond to 67.4% response rate. The results are weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the estimates on activity rate is ±2.3 percentage points, employment rate ±2.5 percentage points and unemployment rate ±1.4 percentage points, for January 2018. Figures may not add up because of rounding. All numbers for the first two months in every quarter of the year are preliminary until the end of the quarter.

Table 1. Labour market in January — Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2016 (±95%) 2017 (±95%) 2018 (±95%)
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 81.5 2.4 80.4 2.6 81.7 2.3
Employment rate 79.2 2.6 77.3 2.8 78.5 2.5
Unemployment rate 2.8 1.2 3.9 1.5 4.0 1.4
Hours of work 39.2 1.3 39.2 1.2 38.4 1.2
Labour force 189,300 5,700 191,200 6,300 203,500 5,700
Employed 183,900 6,000 183,700 6,700 195,500 6,200
Unemployed 5,300 2,400 7,500 3,000 8,100 2,900
Inactive 42,900 5,700 46,500 6,300 45,600 5,700
Est. population 232,100 237,700 249,100
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment
  Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 81.8 81.1 83.0 80.7 82.9 83.4
Employment rate 79.5 78.6 79.9 79.0 80.2 80.1
Unemployment rate 2.8 3.1 3.7 2.1 3.3 3.9
Hours of work 39.7 39.3 39.9 39.4 40.0 39.8
Labour force 196,400 198,600 204,100 198,500 204,800 209,400
Employed 191,000 192,400 196,500 194,300 198,100 201,200
Unemployed 5,400 6,200 7,600 4,200 6,700 8,300
Inactive 43,800 46,300 41,800 47,500 42,200 41,800
Est. population 240,200 244,900 245,900 246,100 247,000 251,200

 

Table 3. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment trend
  Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 82.5 82.5 82.6 82.7 82.8 82.9
Employment rate 79.8 79.8 79.8 79.9 79.9 79.9
Unemployment rate 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.6
Hours of work 39.6 39.6 39.6 39.6 39.7 39.7
Labour force 199,800 200,800 202,200 203,600 204,800 205,700
Employed 193,400 194,100 195,300 196,600 197,600 198,300
Unemployed 6,400 6,700 6,900 7,000 7,200 7,400
Inactive 42,400 42,600 42,500 42,400 42,400 42,400
Est. population 242,200 243,400 244,700 246,100 247,300 248,100

Statistics