There were 202,600 persons aged from 16 to 74 in the labour force in September 2018, according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Thereof, 199,500 persons were employed and 3,100 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 80.8%, employment rate was 79.6% and unemployment rate was 1.5%.

Comparison between September 2017 and 2018 shows that the number of people in the labour force increased by 9,100 and the activity rate increased by 1.2 percentage points. Similar can be said about the number of people in employment. Their number increased by 11,800 and the share of people employed of the estimated population increased by 2.4 percentage points. The number of unemployed has decreased by 2,800, since September 2017 when it was 5,900. Those who were considered inactive in September 2018 were 48,100 compared with 49,700 persons in September 2017.

Flow Chart - Labour force 16-74 years - Semptember 2018

Figures may not add up because of rounding. CI (95%) Unemployment rate: Total ±0.9; males ±1.5; females ±1.0.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 1.7 % in September 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 204,900 in September 2018. This corresponds to an 81.6% activity rate which is almost the same as it was in August. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed persons in September 2018 was estimated to be 3,600 or 1.7%. The seasonally adjusted employment rate was 80.2% in September 2018, which is a 0.7 percentage point increase since August.

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, as shown in Figures 1 and 4, unemployment seems to be decreasing. Over the last 6 months it has decreased by 0.2 percentage points and by 0.4 percentage points for the last 12 months.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

About the data
September 2018 is divided into four weeks, from 3rd to 30th of September. The total sample size for the Labour Force Survey was 1,536 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 1,501 persons. In total, the number of answers was 1,018 corresponding to 67.8% response rate.

The results are weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the estimates on activity rate is ±2.4 percentage points, employment rate ±2.5 percentage points and unemployment rate ±0.9 percentage point, for September 2018. Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Table 1. Labour market in September — Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2016 (±95%) 2017 (±95%) 2018 (±95%)
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 82.3 2,2 79.6 2,7 80.8 2,4
Employment rate 79.9 2,3 77.2 2,9 79.6 2,5
Unemployment rate 3.0 1,1 3.0 1,3 1.5 0,9
Hours of work 41.2 1,2 39.5 1,3 38.8 1,1
Labour force 195,000 5,200 193,500 6,700 202,600 6,000
Employed 189,300 5,500 187,700 7,000 199,500 6,200
Unemployed 5,800 2,300 5,900 2,700 3,100 1,900
Inactive 41,900 5,200 49,700 6,700 48,100 6,000
Est. population 237,000 243,200 250,800
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment
  Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 82.3 81.0 80.9 81.7 81.7 81.6
Employment rate 79.3 79.7 78.2 78.8 79.5 80.2
Unemployment rate 3.7 1.6 3.4 3.6 2.6 1.7
Hours of work 40.0 39.3 39.6 39.7 40.2 39.6
Labour force 203,100 201,000 201,400 204,500 204,300 204,900
Employed 195,600 197,700 194,500 197,200 198,900 201,300
Unemployed 7,500 3,300 6,900 7,300 5,400 3,600
Inactive 43,600 47,100 47,400 45,800 45,800 46,100
Est. population 246,700 248,100 248,800 250,300 250,100 251,000
Table 3. Labour market last 6 months — seasonal adjustment trend
  Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18
Total 16–74 years            
Activity rate 82.0 81.9 81.9 81.9 81.9 81.9
Employment rate 79.6 79.6 79.6 79.6 79.7 79.7
Unemployment rate 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.7 2.6
Hours of work 39.8 39.7 39.7 39.8 39.9 39.8
Labour force 202,900 203,000 203,200 203,600 203,900 204,300
Employed 197,100 197,300 197,600 198,100 198,500 199,000
Unemployed 5,800 5,700 5,600 5,500 5,400 5,300
Inactive 44,600 44,800 45,000 45,100 45,200 45,200
Est. population 247,600 247,800 248,200 248,700 249,100 249,500

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