During the 12 month period from March 2016 to February 2017, the average total number of employers in Iceland was 16,947 and the average number of employees was 181,300. This is an increase of 210 (1.3%) employers and 8,300 (4.8%) employees compared to the period from March 2015 to February 2016.

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.

Table 1. Number of employers and employees in selected activities¹
  Employers Employees February
  2017 2016 2017 Change %
All activities 16,337 170,000 176,000 6,000 4
Fisheries  459 9,400 7,800 -1,600 -17
Manufacturing except fish processing  1,019 16,200 16,500 300 2
Construction 2,423 9,200 10,700 1,500 17
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 2,283 25,100 25,900 800 3
Financial and insurance activities  376 6,200 6,200 0 0
Public administration, compulsory social security and education 551 39,200 39,500 300 1
Human health and social work activities  1,073 15,100 15,600 400 3
Tourism industries 1,558 20,500 23,400 2,900 14
High technology manufacturing and services 864 12,500 12,500 0 0
Creative industries 1,489 9,100 9,100 0 0
¹ A detailed description of theese activities can be found in the metadata         

Sources of error and revision of statistics
The aforementioned figures are preliminary. Having income data as the source, there is a chance of underestimating the latest figures when employers do not submit their 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, please refer to the metadata.

Statistics on employers and employees previously published have been revised, taking into account the latest available information on salaries and classification of employers based on economic activities.

The number of employers in December 2016 is now estimated as 17,758 and the total number of employees is estimated as 183,100. The number of employees increased by 9,300 (5.4%) from December 2015 to December 2016.

In February 2017, the number of employers and employees in December 2016 were estimated as 16.914 and 182,100, respectively. The number of employees had previously been estimated to have increased by 8,300 (4.8%) from December 2015 to December 2016.

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. The latest income statement and balance sheet.

Statistics Iceland conducts a labour force survey (LFS) continuously. 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 about both self-employed, and only people who are permanently living in Iceland are included in the sample. Hence, it should be expected that 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 the within-year variations.