During the 12 month period from September 2017 to August 2018, the average total number of employers in Iceland was 18,127 and the average number of employees was 192,800. This is an increase of 645 (3.7%) employers and 6,900 (3.7%) employees compared with the period from September 2016 to August 2017.

Number of employers and employees in selected activities¹
Employers Employees August
 August 201820172018Change%
All activities18,490198,300202,5004,2002.1
Fisheries (NACE no. 031, 102)6289,3009,100-200-2.4
Manufacturing except fish processing (NACE no. 10-33 except 102)1,06217,80018,3005002.7
Construction (NACE no. 41-43)2,82513,40014,2008005.9
Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 45)5023,6003,7001002.2
Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 46)1,0009,3009,4001000.9
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 47)87215,40015,200-200-1.2
Public administration, compulsory social security and education (NACE no. 84-85)57942,80044,7001,8004.3
Human health and social work activities (NACE no. 86-88)1,14816,90017,4005003.1
Tourism industries (NACE no. 491, 4932, 4939, 501, 503, 511, 551-553, 561, 563, 771, 7721, 79)2,04731,80031,700-100-0.3
High technology manufacturing and services (NACE no. 20, 254, 26-30, 325, 53, 58, 60-63, 72)94013,30013,300-100-0.6
Creative industries (NACE no. 3212, 58-60, 6201-6202, 7021, 7111, 731, 741-743, 8552, 90, 9101-9102)1,6829,3008,800-500-5.1
¹ A detailed description of these activities can be found in the metadata

In August 2018, there were 2,047 employers and about 31,.700 employees in the tourism industries, the number of employees having decreased by 100 (0.3%) compared with August 2017. During this 12 month period, the total number of employees increased by 4,200 (2.1%).

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 July 2018 is now estimated as 18,364 and the total number of employees is estimated as 204,100. The number of employees increased by 4,900 (2.5%) from July 2017 to July 2018. In October, the number of employers and employees in June 2018 was estimated as 18,258 and 204,100 respectively. The number of employees was then estimated to have increased by 4,800 (2.4%) from July 2017 to July 2018.

Other statistics on the 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-term 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 are updated monthly on Statistics Iceland’s website.

Statistics on activities related to tourism
Statistics all economic activities