Wage Statistics Committee Reports that Women Earn 86% of Men's Wages Skip to content

Wage Statistics Committee Reports that Women Earn 86% of Men’s Wages

By Erik Pomrenke

Photo: Screenshot, RÚV.

In their spring report, the Wage Statistics Committee reports that women in Iceland still earn some 86% of what men do.

The report examined the wages of individuals working full time. Although average monthly income is largely the same for men and women, the pay gap is most noticeable in total annual salary, perhaps suggesting that men benefit disproportionately from bonuses, overtime pay, and other sources.

Guðbjörg Andrea Jónsdóttir, chairperson of the Wage Statistics Committee, said in an interview that the pay gap varies significantly between regions and industries. The most pronounced difference is found in the government, where women earn an average of 85% of men’s total salaries. Notably, the municipalities have a much more equitable wage distribution, with women working for Reykjavík City earning 95% of men’s salaries.

These differences take place against a generally positive economic outlook for most Icelandic households, with wages rising an average of 23% since last year. Workers in Reykjavík have especially benefitted from this increase, with wages rising an average of 30% for the capital area.

Women have benefitted more than men have from this rise in wage, primarily because they are more likely to hold lower-paying jobs than men.

The Wage Statistics Committee was founded in 2019 in cooperation with the state, municipalities, and labour organizations to share information on wages in Iceland and better negotiate labour contracts.

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