There were 204,700 persons aged from 16 to 74 in the labour force in October 2018, according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Thereof, 198,700 persons were employed (±6,300) and 6,000 persons were unemployed (±2,600). The activity rate was 81.2%, employment rate was 78.9% and unemployment rate was 2.9%.

Comparison between October 2017 and 2018 shows that the number of people in the labour force increased by 3,900, but the activity rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points. The number of people in employment increased by 5,200 and the share of people employed of the estimated population stayed the same. The number of unemployed has decreased by 1,400, since October 2017 when it was 7,400. Those who were considered inactive in October 2018 were 47,300 compared with 44,500 persons in October 2017.


Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 3.1% in October 2018
Changes in the Icelandic labour market display a seasonal pattern as can be seen in the figures below. The seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of people in the labour force was 206,800 in October 2018. This corresponds to an 81.9% activity rate which is 0.3 percentage points higher than it was in September. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed persons in October 2018 was estimated to be 6,400 or 3.1%, an increase by 1.3 percentage points. The seasonally adjusted employment rate was 79.4% in October 2018, which is a 0.8 percentage points decrease since September.

In spite of some fluctuations in the measurement of labour, the trend of recent months and year is almost unchanged, as shown in Figures 2 and 3 below. However over the last six months the employment rate has increased by 0.2 points. At the same time the unemployment rate has decreased by the same number.

Figure 1 unemploy_mynd1-nov-2018

Figure 2 unemploy_mynd2-nov-2018

Figure 3 unemploy_mynd3-nov-2018

Figure 4 unemploy_mynd4-nov-2018

About the data
October 2018 is divided into four weeks, from 1st to 28th of October. The total sample size for the Labour Force Survey was 1,555 persons, 16–74 years old, selected randomly from the registered population. When individuals out of scope had been removed from the sample, the net sample was 1,521 persons. In total, the number of answers was 985 corresponding to 64.8% response rate.

The results are weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the estimates on activity rate is ±2.3 percentage points, employment rate ±2.5 percentage points and unemployment rate ±1.3 percentage point, for October 2018. Figures may not add up because of rounding. Results for the first two months in every quarter of the year are preliminary until the end of the quarter.

Table 1. Labour market in October Original
Total 1674 years
Activity rate82.02,581.92,681.22,3
Employment rate79.82,678.92,878.92,5
Unemployment rate2.71,23.71,62.91,3
Hours of work40.21,340.11,339.61,1
Labour force194,1005,900200,8006,400204,7005,900
Est. population236,600245,300252,000

Table 2. Labour market last 6 months seasonal adjustment
Total 1674 years
Activity rate81.080.981.781.781.681.9
Employment rate79.778.078.779.580.279.4
Unemployment rate1.
Hours of work39.339.639.740.139.539.6
Labour force201,000201,700204,600204,500205,000206,800
Est. population248,000249,300250,600250,400251,100252,400

Table 3. Labour market last 6 months seasonal adjustment trend
Total 1674 years
Activity rate81.981.881.881.881.981.9
Employment rate79.679.679.679.779.779.8
Unemployment rate2.
Hours of work39.739.739.839.839.739.7
Labour force203,000203,300203,700204,200204,700205,200
Est. population248,000248,400249,000249,500250,000250,600