The number of persons in the labour force in the 2nd quarter of 2017 was 202,500 corresponding to an activity rate of 84.4%. The number of employed persons was 195,600 while unemployed persons were 7,000. The employment rate was 81.5% and the unemployment rate was 3.4%. From the 2nd quarter of 2016 the number of employed persons has increased by 3,500 but the employment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points. At the same time the number of unemployed persons decreased by 200 and the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 points. The unemployment rate among females was 3.5% and 3.4% among males.
Long-term unemployment rate 5.5%
Long-term unemployment is defined as having been unemployed for 12 months or more. Long-term unemployment increased substantially in Iceland between 2009 and 2012, after which it declined and is now back to the same low levels as before the increase. Those who have been unemployed for 12 months or more in 2nd quarter of 2017 were 400 or 0.2% of the total labour force and 5.5% of the total unemployed. In the 2nd quarter of 2016 long-term unemployed persons were 800 or 0.4% of the labour force and 11% 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 3 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 2nd quarter of 2017 the average number of persons at work in the reference week was 178,100, or 74.2% of the population and 91.7% of all in employment. The average number of working hours of those who were at work was 40.6 hours, 44.7 hours for those in full-time employment and 24.7 hours for those in part-time employment.
Labour market in 2nd quarter 2017 - Statistical Series