The number of employed people in Iceland aged 15-69 years in the fourth quarter of 2019 was 195.163 on average, but register based employment figures for the third and fourth quarter of 2019 have been updated. Of these, 92.476 (47,4%) were women and 102.687 (52,6%) were men.

The majority of those who worked in the Icelandic labour market in the fourth quarter of 2019 were of Icelandic origin, or 156.382 (80,1%), but 38.781 (19,9%) are immigrants.

About the data
Register based employment figures are counts of individuals based on monthly tax registry data and population data. The tax registry data are based on information from the Directorate of Internal Revenue regarding income tax including presumptive employment income, in accordance with the Act on Taxes, No 45/1987. The data has been enriched with other information so that it can be utilized for statistical purposes, for example in order to distinguish taxed wages and salaries from other taxed income.

As the aim is to count those truly employed (rather than all individuals with taxable income), being in employment is defined as having received taxed wages equivalent to one hour of work per week. This is in line with the definition of employment used by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Also counted, are persons who are on parental leave and self-employed paying taxes based on presumptive employment income during the time-period.

A person is considered an immigrant if born abroad, with both parents and both grandparents born abroad, according to Statistics Iceland´s definition. Others are considered as having an Icelandic background.

The numbers are preliminary numbers, and may change over time because of the improving quality of data in recent years.