Based on unadjusted monthly measures from the Icelandic Labour Force Survey, the number of 16-74 year olds active in the labour market was estimated to 217,200 (± 6,200) in June 2020, which is equivalent to an activity rate of 83.1% (±2.4). Of active individuals, the number of employed individuals was estimated to be 209,500 (±4,900) and 7,700 (±2,500) unemployed and looking for a job. The rate of employed individuals of the population was estimated to 80.2% (±2.3%) and the unadjusted employment rate to 3.5% (±1.1).

The unadjusted unemployment rate decreased in June from May when it was 9.9%. The estimated unemployment rate in June 2020 was similar to what is was in June 2019 when it was 3.2%. Between 2015 and 2018 the estimated unemployment rate ranged from 2.2 to 3.1%. The activity rate in June 2020 was somewhat lower compared to previous measures in June, specially for the younger population aged 16 – 24 years old. It should be noted that the activity rate for young people is still high or 91.3%. In comparison, the unadjusted activity rate for young people was 94.3% in June 2019 and 92.7% in June 2018.

The seasonally adjusted results in June show the number of unemployed to be 8,300, which is equivalent to 4.1% of the labour force. Seasonally adjusted activity rate was 80.1% and the employment rate 75.5%. The seasonally adjusted activity rate increased by half a percentage point from May 2020 and the employment rate by 2.7 percentage points. The seasonally adjusted average hours worked were 36.9 in June which is a 0.2 hour increase from May 2020.

The seasonally adjusted trend of the rate of unemployment for the last six months increased from 3.7% in January 2020 to 4.5% in June. Concurrently, the seasonally adjusted trend of employment rate increased by 1 percentage point from May and is now 0.3 percentage points higher then it was in January this year.

It is proper to note that the seasonally adjusted estimates may be somewhat inaccurate as a result of unprecedented circumstances in the labour market in the spring of 2020. The seasonally adjusted estimates correct for general seasonal changes in the labour market, such as the increase of unemployment for young people in springtime due to students looking for summer jobs. It is evident that in the spring of 2020 such adjustments are insufficient because of the present extraordinary labour market situation. Thus, it is important to focus on the unadjusted measures when estimating short term effects.

All numbers are weighted by age and gender and rounded to the nearest hundred.

It is important that the figures are prelimanry and will be revised when the quarterly figures for the Icelandi labor market will be published. There are some indications of nonresponse bias in the results as individuals that received unemployment benefits in June appear to be less likely to respond to the questionnaire than those that did not receive such benefits. This could lead to an underestimation for unemployment in June.

Table 1. Labour market in June — unadjusted measures
CI CI CI
  2018 (±95%) 2019 (±95%) 2020 (±95%)
Total 16–74 years
Activity rate 84.0 2.4 84.0 2.3 83.1 2.4
Employment rate 81.5 2.4 81.4 2.6 80.2 2.3
Unemployment rat 3.1 1.0 3.2 1.1 3.5 1.1
Hours of work 41.6 1.0 41.0 1.4 39.2 1.1
Labour force 209,700 5,900 216,000 6,000 217,200 6,200
Employed 203,200 4,900 209,100 5,400 209,500 4,900
Unemployed 6,400 2,000 6,800 2,400 7,700 2,500
Inactive 39,800 5,800 41,100 5,900 44,100 5,500
Est. population 249,500 257,100 261,300
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months seasonal adjustment
 Jan-20Feb-20Mar-20Apr-20May-20Jun-20
Total 1674 years
Activity rate 81.0 80.4 79.0 75.479.5 80.1
Employment rate 78.0 77.5 76.9 70.272.8 75.5
Unemployment rate 3.4 5.0 3.3 5.35.9 4.1
Hours of work 39.6 39.4 38.4 37.336.7 36.9
Labour force 208,700 208,500 208,300 195,400203,700 209,400
Employed 202,700 199,600 202,200 183,200190,500 197,900
Unemployed 7,000 10,300 5,900 11,30014,300 8,300
Inactive 50,400 51,000 53,300 61,70055,400 53,700
Est. population 259,100 259,600 261,800 258,500259,500 262,100

Table 3. Labour market last 6 months seasonal adjustment trend
 Jan-20Feb-20Mar-20Apr-20May-20Jun-20
Total 1674 years
Activity rate 80.9 81.1 80.1 80.1 79.9 79.9
Employment rate 77.9 77.6 77.0 77.0 77.2 78.2
Unemployment rate 3.7 4.0 3.6 4.1 4.5 4.5
Hours of work 40.0 39.8 39.5 37.5 37.3 36.8
Labour force 209,400 209,300 209,000 206,900 207,100 208,400
Employed 202,600 201,000 202,000 198,500 196,300 199,300
Unemployed 7,300 8,100 7,500 8,500 9,200 9,000
Inactive 49,700 50,300 52,200 56,400 56,700 55,000
Est. population 259,200 259,600 261,800 260,600 259,900 262,000
About the data
The Labour Force Survey for June 2020 covers 4 weeks, from June 1st through June 28th. The sample consisted of 1,534 individuals 16-74 years old, domiciled in Iceland. When those who were domiciled abroad or deceased had been excluded, the net sample consisted of 1,499 individuals. Usable answers were obtained from 966 individuals, which corresponds to 64.4% response rate.

Statistics