More than half of full-time employees had total earnings less than 500 thousand ISK in the year 2014 and about 45% received total earnings between 300-500 thousand ISK. Little less than 30% of full-time employees received total earnings between 500-700 thousand ISK and about 20% had total monthly earnings higher than 700 thousand ISK. Mean monthly total earnings were 555 thousand ISK, 619 thousand ISK for men and 486 thousand ISK for women.

More employees had earnings under the mean than over, or about 63%. About 75% of women had earnings under the mean and little over half of the men. This may be explained mainly by the fact that collective agreements set minimum wage rates but no maximum wages.

The distribution of regular earnings that are earnings for regular working time, compared to distribution of total earnings can be seen in the table below. About 20% of full-time employees received regular earnings less than 300 thousand ISK and about 7% had total earnings under that amount. 15% of men received regular earnings over 700 thousand ISK and 6% of women, but 26% of men had total earnings over that amount and 11% of women.

Distribution of regular and total earnings for full-time employees 2014
  Regular earnings Total earnings
  Total Men Women Total Men Women
<300 thous. ISK 21% 18% 24% 7% 3% 11%
300-500 thous. ISK 52% 49% 56% 45% 37% 55%
500-700 thous. ISK 16% 18% 14% 29% 34% 23%
>700 thous. ISK 11% 15% 6% 19% 26% 11%


Total earnings highest in the central government and lowest in the local government
Mean monthly total earnings in the private sector were 580 thousand ISK for full-time employees in 2014, 603 thousand ISK for employees within the central government and 442 thousand ISK for employees in the local government. Women’s total earnings were lower than men’s total earnings and the distribution of women’s earnings was more compact than the distribution of men’s earnings. Employees paid by the state treasury and the municipalities belong to the public sector. Others are a part of the private sector.


NOTES: The rectangle is defined by the lower and upper quartile and divided by the median. The bars are defined by the 1st and 9th quartile.


Highest earnings in Financial and insurance activities
Employees in the Financial and insurance activities (K) had the highest total earnings in 2014 or 763 thousand ISK on average and the widest distribution. The median was highest in the economic activity Electricity and steam supply (D), 705 thousand ISK, but the distribution of earnings is more compact than in the Financial activities. The total earnings were lowest in Education (P), 445 thousand ISK and this was the only economic activity were the average total earnings were less than 500 thousand ISK in 2014. A special notice has to be made for the economic activities J, O, P, and Q. In economic activity J small enterprises and enterprises in the IT business are missing. Only employees in the public market are covered in the economic activities O, P, Q.


NOTES: The rectangle is defined by the lower and upper quartile and divided by the median. The bars are defined by the 1st and 9th quartile. Manufacturing (C), Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply (D), Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (E), Construction (F), Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles (G), Transportation and storage (G), Information and communication (J), Financial and insurance activities (K), Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (O), Education (P), Human health and social work activities (Q).

Information on earnings and distribution of earnings 2014 has been published on Statistics Iceland website. Information is available for the whole labour market divided by sector and economic activity as well as occupational groups and about 120 occupations in the private sector.

Results are based on the Icelandic Survey on Wages, Earnings and Labour Cost and cover about 70 thousand employees. The survey is a stratified sample survey and data is weighted according to the survey design. Results are preliminary. Further information on definitions and methods is available on Statistics Iceland website.

Statistics