Unemployment Rate At 8.3% in March Skip to content

Unemployment Rate At 8.3% in March

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

The unemployment rate in Iceland in March was 8.3% according to data from Statistics Iceland. That is an increase of 5.4 % compared to the same period last year and means that approximately 17,000 individuals are unemployed.

According to seasonally adjusted figures from the Icelandic Labour Force Survey, 17,000 individuals were unemployed in March 2021, or 8.3% of the labour force. Compared with February 2021 the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 1.9 %. Over the last 6 months, employment decreased by 0.3 % and unemployment increased by 0.4 %.

The number of 16–74-year-olds active on the labour market was estimated to be 202,700 (±6,700) in March 2021. Of active individuals, the number of employed persons was 186,200 (±4,900) and 16,700 (±3,400) were unemployed and looking for a job. The employment rate was 70.8% (±2.6) and the unemployment rate 8.2% (±1.7). Compared to March 2020, the number of unemployed individuals increased by 11,200 between years, or by 5.4 %.

Considerable labour market slack was seen on the Icelandic labour market in March 2021. Results from the Icelandic Labour Force Survey indicate that around 37,600 individuals had an unmet need for employment, 17.4% of the labour force and potential labour force. Of those individuals, 44.3% were unemployed, 17.9% ready to work but not looking for a job, 16.2% looking but not ready to work and 21.6% employed but wanted to work more. The labour market slack has increased by 7.2 percentage points between years.

The Labour Force Survey for March 2021 covers five weeks, from 1 March through 4 April 2021. The sample consisted of 1,904 individuals, 16-74 years old and domiciled in Iceland. When those who were domiciled abroad or deceased had been excluded, the net sample consisted of 1,861 individuals. Usable answers were obtained from 1,202 individuals which corresponds to a 64.6% response rate.

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