There were 193,500 persons aged from 16 to 74 in the labour force in September 2017, according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Thereof, 187,700 persons were employed and 5,900 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 79.6%, employment rate was 77.2% and unemployment rate was 3%.

Comparison between September 2016 and 2017 shows that both the activity rate and employment rate decreased by 2.7 percentage points. The number of persons in the labour force decreased by 1,500 and the number of employed decreased by 1,600. Both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate stayed the same. Those inactive were 49,700 compared with 41,900 persons in September 2016.

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

Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment 3% in September
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 197,600 in September 2017. This corresponds to an 81.4% activity rate which is 0.3 percentage points less than in August 2017. The number of unemployed persons in September 2017 was estimated to be 6,000, an increase of 1,000 persons since August. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3% in September compared with 2.6% in August. The seasonally adjusted employment rate was 78.9% in September and decreased by 0.7 percentage points between months. The estimated number of inactive people increased from 43,800 in August to 45,100 in September. The trend for seasonally adjusted data in the last six months shows that activity rate has decreased by 0.6 percentage points and employment rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points. There was, however, a slight increase in the unemployment rate or 0.1 percentage points.

Implementation
September 2017 is divided into four weeks, from 4th of September to 1st of October. The total sample size for the Labour Force Survey was 1,225 persons, 16–74 years, selected randomly from the Population Register. When individuals out of scope had been removed from the sample, the net sample was 1,187 persons. In total, the number of answers was 806 which correspond to 67.9% response rate. The results are weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the estimates on activity rate is ±2.7 percentage points, employment rate ±2.8 percentage points and unemployment rate ±1.3 percentage points, for September 2017. Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Table 1. Labour market in September — Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2015 (±95%) 2016 (±95%) 2017 (±95%)
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 81.4 2.5 82.3 2.2 79.6 2.7
Employment rate 78.3 2.7 79.9 2.3 77.2 2.8
Unemployment rate 3.8 1.5 3.0 1.1 3.0 1.3
Hours of work 40.7 1.3 41.2 1.2 39.5 1.3
Labour force 187,900 5,800 195,000 5,100 193,500 6,600
Employed 180,800 6,200 189,300 5,400 187,700 7,000
Unemployed 7,100 2,800 5,800 2,200 5,900 2,700
Inactive 42,900 5,800 41,900 5,100 49,700 6,600
Est. population 230,800 237,000 243,200
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment
  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 83.6 82.9 82.5 81.4 81.7 81.4
Employment rate 81.7 80.3 80.5 79.8 79.6 78.9
Unemployment rate 2.3 3.1 2.5 1.9 2.6 3.0
Hours of work 40.4 40.2 39.9 39.3 39.5 39.3
Labour force 200,800 198,800 197,900 194,500 196,100 197,600
Employed 196,200 192,700 193,000 190,900 191,100 191,600
Unemployed 4,600 6,100 4,900 3,600 5,000 6,000
Inactive 39,400 41,100 41,900 44,500 43,800 45,100
Est. population 240,200 239,800 239,900 239,000 239,900 242,800
Table 3. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment trend
  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 83.2 82.9 82.7 82.6 82.6 82.5
Employment rate 80.9 80.6 80.4 80.3 80.2 80.2
Unemployment rate 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.9
Hours of work 40.0 39.9 39.8 39.6 39.5 39.5
Labour force 200,100 199,100 198,400 198,300 198,300 198,300
Employed 194,500 193,500 192,800 192,600 192,600 192,600
Unemployed 5,500 5,600 5,600 5,700 5,700 5,700
Inactive 40,500 41,000 41,500 41,700 41,900 41,900
Est. population 240,500 240,100 239,900 240,000 240,100 240,200

Statistics