Approximately 3,500 jobs were estimated to be vacant on the Icelandic labour market in the first quarter of 2019, according the results of Statistics Iceland’s Job Vacancy Survey. In the same quarter, a total of 228,300 jobs were estimated to be manned. The job vacancy rate was therefore approximately 1.5%.

Statistics Iceland has published, for the first time, figures on the number and rate of job vacancies in the Icelandic labour market. The figures are provisional, based on a quarterly survey of legal entities in Iceland.

Measure Value1 Standard error2 Lower interval3 Upper interval3
Number of vacancies 3,500 600 2,300 4,700
Number of jobs 228,300 12,200 204,300 252,300
Job vacancy rate 1.5 0.2 1.0 2.0

1All counts are rounded to the nearest hundred or thousand.
2Standard error of a measure refers to the variance in measures between samples.
3The upper and lower interval of a measure refers to the range of the confidence interval around the measure. In repeated samples, the population value will fall within the confidence interval in 95% of cases.

About the data
The main objective of the Job Vacancy Survey is to gather information on the number of vacancies and employees working for legal entities that pay salary on the Icelandic labour market. The survey is conducted according to the European regulation No 453/2008. The figures are therefore comparable to figures from other countries within the European Statistical System (see here).

The Job Vacancy Survey is conducted quarterly with a reference date in the middle of the second month of the quarter. In the first quarter of 2019, the reference date was February 15. This date is considered to be typical for the first quarter. The target population of the survey are all legal entities in the Icelandic labour market that employ at least one individual. The sample was selected at the start of the year.

The sampling frame of the survey covers all legal entities that, on average, had at least one employee per month over the past year and were still active when the sample was selected. The survey‘s sample is a stratified random sample where the strata were defined on the bases of four size categories (9 or fewer employees; 10-49 employees; 50-249 employees; 250 or more employees) and ten ÍSAT2008 categories ([A], [B, C, D, E], [F], [G, H, I], [J], [K], [L], [M, N], [O, P, Q], [R, S]). ÍSAT2008 is an Icelandic classification system of economic activity, based on NACE Rev. 2. The sample unit of the survey, as well as the statistical unit, is a legal entity whit at least one employee. Legal entities in the largest size category (250 or more employees) were all selected in the sample as their sampling probability was 1. This probability is lower for the smaller legal entities. This means that a new sample of medium, small and micro legal entities is selected each year, while the larger ones are always a part of the sample. The total sample size in the first quarter of 2019 was 608 legal entities.

Data were collected from February 18th to April 4th 2019 using a web survey. The final sample size was 601 legal entities, as 7 had either been deregistered or had merged with other organizations. In total, 561 legal units responded to the survey which means a response rate of 93%. The final results were weighed by their sample probabilities as well as their size and economic sector.