Wave of Layoffs Hits Iceland’s Job Market Skip to content

Wave of Layoffs Hits Iceland’s Job Market

According to information from the Directorate of Labor, around 2,000 employee terminations will take effect in the coming three months. The directorate estimates that announcements of layoffs will continue to increase in the next few weeks.

The Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI), the Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) all report that companies are generally either preparing extensive rationalization measures or have already begun rationalizing, Morgunbladid reports.

It is expected that thousands of workers will lose their jobs in the next six to eight months.

A construction site in Iceland in 2004. Photo by Sigurdur Jökull Ólafsson. Copyrigt: IPA.

“We had naturally expected it,” said Sigurjón Hjartarson, a carpenter with BYGG construction company, where all 160 employees have been laid off. “People are kind of numb, but many people are also relieved in a way because there was so much uncertainty. We have full understanding for this, what is happening in society. We just have to hope for the best.”

Travel agencies Úrval-Útsýn and Kynnisferdir have announced layoffs for a large part of their employees, as has the Association of Book Makers, and grocery-store chain Nóatún.

RÚV reported yesterday, that media company 365 has given notice to many of its employees and all employees at private television station Skjár 1 have lost their jobs.

Companies are also limiting working hours and lowering the salaries of their remaining workers.

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