The main results of the Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2023 show that the Icelandic labour market has, as in the third quarter, remained relatively stable between years.

The proportion of the population aged 16-74 years in the labour market (activity rate) was 79.7% in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is little higher that it was in the same quarter of 2022 when it measured 79.5%. The total number of employed in the fourth quarter of 2023 was 220,300 and the employment rate of the population 77.2%.

Comparison between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2023 shows that the number of employed increased by 7,900 and the employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points. The employment rate for women was measured at 73.0% and for men at 81.0% in the fourth quarter of 2023. The number of employed women was almost the same but the number of men increased by 7,600. The employment rate in the Capital region was 76.6% while the rate was 78.1% outside it.

In comparison, 212,400 were employed in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the proportion of the population was 76.9%. At that time, the employment rate for women was 74.7% and 79.0% for men. The employment rate in the Capital region was 77.7% and 75.5% for those living outside the region.

Of employed individuals in the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of people working full-time was 168,400 or, 76.4%, and 51,900 were working part-time or 23.6%. The number of people in full-time employment increased by 11,700 from the fourth quarter of 2022 and their percentage of employed people increased by 2.7 percentage points. Of employed women, 65.8% worked full-time jobs in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 85.2% of employed men. Of those who worked part-time in the fourth quarter of 2023, 7,500 were underemployed or 3.4% of all employed.

For comparison, 7,100 people were considered underemployed in the same quarter of 2022 or 3.3%. The definition of underemployed are those who work part-time and want to work more.

Average working hours
In the fourth quarter of 2023, the average working hours was measured 35.5 hours per week for those who were at work in the reference week, 31.3 hours for women and 38.8 hours for men. In comparison, the average number of hours worked was 36.1 in the fourth quarter of 2022. Women worked an average of 32.8 hours and men worked 38.9 hours on average.

Unemployment rate was 3.2% in the fourth quarter
The average number of persons in unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2023 was 7,400 persons, or 3.2% of the labour force 16 to 74 years old. The same goes for both men and women. In comparison, 7,200 persons were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the unemployment rate was 3.3%. Unemployment rate amongst women was then 2.5% and 3.9% amongst men.

Within the age group 16 to 24 years, the unemployment rate was 8.9%, which is an increase from what it was in the same quarter in 2022 when it was 5.8%. For those 25 to 54 year olds the unemployment rate was 2.6% which is near a percentage point lower than it was in the fourth quarter of 2022. For the oldest group, 55-74 years old, unemployment rate was 1.2% compared with 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022

Statistics