The number of those who have been unemployed for six months or longer has grown rapidly in the past months. One third of those who are currently without a job in Iceland find themselves in this position.
From the Smáralind shopping mall in Kópavogur. The picture is not related to the story. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
In September 2008, 20 percent of those who were unemployed had been without a job for six months or longer. In May 2009 their number had grown to 30 percent and last month to 47 percent, RÚV reports.
“It is a considerably new challenge which we are facing at the Directorate of Labor,” said one of the directorate’s experts Karl Sigurdsson. “The service must naturally be aimed towards increasing resources, consultancy and the general relations with this group.”
Sigurdsson said research show that the longer people have been unemployed the more difficult it is to find a new job.
“First after the crisis hit the most energy went into registering people and securing their unemployment benefits […] but now there is increased flexibility and cooperation with other institutions in society is being established,” Sigurdsson added.
The unemployment rate in Iceland rose to 9.3 percent in February, up from nine percent the previous month, as revealed by the Directorate of Labor last week.
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