According to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey the number of persons in the labour force in May 2015 was 197,100. Of those in the labour force 183,900 persons were employed and 13,200 persons were unemployed. The activity rate was 84.5%, the employment rate was 78.9% and the unemployment rate was 6.7%. The activity rate and the employment rate stayed almost the same between May 2014 and 2015. At the same time the number of unemployed persons decreased by 700 and the unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 points. Previous measurements show that unemployment in Iceland always peaks in May each year when a large number of young people enter the labour market in search of work. In May 2015 the unemployment rate for 16-24 years old was 15.4% compared to 4.6% amongst those who are 25 and older. In comparison the unemployment rate in May 2014 was 16.7% for 16-24 years old and 5% for 25 and older.

Labour force May 2015

Figures may not add up because of rounding.


Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 4.1% in May
The seasonally adjusted data show that in May 2015 the number of people in the labour force was 193,700 corresponding to 83% activity rate. The number of unemployed persons, in May 2015, amounted to 8,000 and had decreased by 700 since April. The unemployment rate was 4.1% in May compared to 4.5% in April. According to the seasonal adjustment the employment rate was 79.6%. Between April and May, the employment rate increased by 0.9 points and the unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 points. The trend for seasonally adjusted data in the last six months shows that the unemployment rate has decreased by 0.2 percentage points and by 0.7 points for the last 12 months. The employment rate has increased by 0.6 points in the last six months and by 1.2 points in the last 12 months.

Implementation
May 2015 is divided into four weeks, from 4th to 31st of May. The total sample size was 1,213 persons, 16–74 years, randomly chosen from the Population Register. When those who had passed away and those who were living abroad had been deducted from the sample the net sample was 1,183 persons. In total the number of usable answers was 924 corresponding to 78.1% response rate. All figures have been weighted by sex and age groups. The confidence limit of the results on activity rate is ±2.3 point, employment rate is ±2.6 points and unemployment rate is ±1.8 points. Figures may not add up because of rounding.

Table 1. Labour market in May - Original
    CI   CI   CI
  2013 (±95%) 2014 (±95%) 2015 (±95%)
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 83.4 2 84.9 2 84.5 2,3
Employment rate 77.2 2,3 78.8 2,3 78.9 2,6
Unemployment rate 7.5 1,6 7.2 1,6 6.7 1,8
Hours of work 41.2 1 40.6 1,1 41.4 1,3
Labour force 188,700 4,600 193,900 4,500 197,100 5,400
Employed 174,500 5,300 180,000 5,200 183,900 6,100
Unemployed 14,100 3,000 13,900 3,100 13,200 3,500
Inactive 37,500 4,600 34,400 4,500 36,100 5,400
Est. population 226,100 228,300 233,200
Table 2. Labour market last 6 months - Seasonal adjustment
  Dec-14 Jan-15 Feb-15 Mar-15 Apr-15 May-15
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 80.8 81.2 82.5 82.9 82.4 83.0
Employment rate 77.3 77.9 78.7 79.7 78.7 79.6
Unemployment rate 4.4 4.1 4.7 3.9 4.5 4.1
Hours of work 40.0 40.2 39.8 39.9 39.9 40.1
Labour force 186,400 188,900 192,200 191,800 192,300 193,700
Employed 178,200 181,200 183,200 184,400 183,700 185,700
Unemployed 8,200 7,700 9,000 7,400 8,700 8,000
Inactive 44,200 43,700 40,700 39,600 41,000 39,600
Est. population 230,600 232,600 232,900 231,400 233,300 233,200
Table 3. Labour market last 6 months - Seasonal adjustment trend
  Dec-14 Jan-15 Feb-15 Mar-15 Apr-15 May-15
Total 16-74 years            
Activity rate 82.0 82.0 82.0 82.2 82.3 82.4
Employment rate 78.4 78.4 78.5 78.7 78.9 78.9
Unemployment rate 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2
Hours of work 40.1 40.0 40.0 40.0 40.0 40.0
Labour force 189,300 189,800 190,800 191,600 192,200 192,400
Employed 180,800 181,500 182,500 183,500 184,000 184,200
Unemployed 8,500 8,300 8,200 8,200 8,200 8,200
Inactive 41,500 41,800 41,800 41,500 41,200 41,000
Est. population 230,800 231,600 232,600 233,100 233,300 233,400

Statistics