Iceland Mag

1 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Unemployement in March just 2.4%, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment drop

By Staff

  • Fish processing Unemployemnt in January and February rose to 3% due to temporary layoffs in the fishing industry, caused by a strike by fishermen on the trawling fleet. Photo/Vísir.

Only 4,102 people were registered unemployed in Iceland in March, according to a report released by the Directorate of Labour (pdf). The unemployment rate was 2.4%, which is a drop of 0.3% since March 2016. Unemployment has also dropped significantly since January and February, when a strike by fishermen on the trawling fleet led to temporary layoffs among workers in the fishing industry.

Fewer young people without work

The largest year-over-year drop in unemployment is among the youngest age group. Youth unemployment was 2.3% in March, when 600 people aged 18-24 were without work. The number of unemployed youth has dropped by 17% compared to March of 2016, when 700 youth were unemployed.

Long term unemployment has also dropped in the past 12 months. In March 2016 there were 2,233 people who had been without work for more than 6 months, compared to 1,766 in March of 2017, a drop of 21%.

Foreign citizens more likely to be without work
A disproportionate share of those who are registered as unemployed are foreign citizens living in Iceland. 24% of the unemployed are foreign citizens, corresponding to a 5.3% unemployment rate among foreign citizens living in Iceland.

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