Iceland Mag

2 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Iceland has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire OECD

By Staff

  • Few idle hands The only major industry which has not been adding workers in the past years is fisheries. Photo/Eyþór.

The unemployment rate in Iceland is the lowest in the entire OECD, Figures from OECD and Statistics Iceland also show that youth unemployment is also the lowest in Iceland. Unemployment is expected to drop even further by year's end.

Read more: Low unemployment, booming economy means foreign nationals 11% of the labour force

The average unemployment in the OECD in March was 6%, and 8% in the European Union. Unemployment in the US was 4.5%. The unemployment rate in Iceland in March was 2.4%.

At the same time unemployment among young people, 15-25 years old, was on average 12.1% in the OECD, 17.2% in the EU and 9.1% in the US. Youth unemployment in Iceland was just 7.1%.

The low unemployment rate poses problems for many companies which have trouble finding employees to fill open positions. According to a poll by Gallup Iceland, conducted for the Icelandic Central Bank (pdf), 90% of all construction firms have had trouble finding new workers. 

Read more: Report: Icelandic economic growth tops all but one OECD country in 2016: GDP grew 7.2%

Economic growth in Iceland has also far exceeded that of most other developed countries. According to OECD figures the Icelandic economy grew by 7.2% In 2016, which was the second highest growth in the OECD in 2016.  

OECD unemployment March 2017

OECD unemployment Iceland's unemployment rate peaked just above 10% in early 2009. Photo/Iceland Magazine



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