In 2021, it is estimated that 23.8% of employed people aged 16-64 were working part-time jobs. Since 2003, the rate of people working part-time jobs has ranged from 20.7% to 24.7%, the lowest proportion was in 2008 and the highest in 2010. Women were more likely to work part-time (35.8%) in 2021 than men (13.4%). The rate of underemployed persons, or those who worked part-time but would have liked to and were able to work more hours, was 4.2% in 2021. Women were more likely to be underemployed (5.7%) than men (2.9%).
In 2021, the rate of people working part-time jobs was higher in Iceland than the average of the European Union countries (17.7%). The part-time employment rate was highest in the Netherlands (42.2%) and Switzerland (37.8%) and lowest in Slovakia (3.1%) and Bulgaria (1.6%).
The underemployment rate was higher in Iceland (4.2%) than the average rate of the European Union countries in 2021 (3.2%). The underemployment rate was highest in Spain (6.3%) and the Netherlands (6.1%) and lowest in Czechia (0.3%) and Bulgaria (0.3%).
In the period from 2003 to 2021, the rate of people working part-time was lower among immigrants than people with an Icelandic background. There were 20.8% of immigrants working part-time in 2021 compared with 24.3% of people with an Icelandic background. The underemployment rate was 5.3% for immigrants compared with 4.0% for people with an Icelandic background.
The part-time employment rate has decreased among people with basic education (ISCED 1,2), from 25.6% in 2003 to 19.5% in 2021. In the same period, the part-time employment rate among people with upper secondary education (ISCED 3,4) was highest in 2021, 19.6%. The part-time employment rate among people with tertiary education (ISCED 5,6,7,8) was 17.8% in 2021 and has not been as high since 2010, 18.5%. Among people with tertiary education, the rate was lowest in 2015, 14.6%. The underemployment rate was 3.0% among people with basic education, 3.3% among people with upper secondary education, and 2.9% among people with tertiary education.
About the data
The figures are based on the Labour force survey conducted by Statistics Iceland. The Labour force survey is intended to gather information about people's jobs, working hours and job search in accordance with the labour market measurements of Eurostat. Since the Labour force survey is a sample survey there is a need to account for uncertainty.
Due to improved weights in the Labour force survey of Statistics Iceland, there is a discrepancy between the published figures on the Statistics Iceland website and on the website of Eurostat. It is not clear when Eurostat will update the figures on their website.
Immigrants are defined as individuals that are born abroad and have parents that are both born abroad and have a foreign background. That means that both grandparents were born abroad. Icelandic background is used for everyone that cannot be defined as an immigrant. Icelandic background can be seen as a broad category that includes many sub-categories. For example, a person who is born abroad but has no foreign background, individuals that are born in Iceland and have one parent that is an immigrant, an individual that is born abroad and has Icelandic grandparents, and an individual that has immigrant parents but is born in Iceland.