According to more exact figures from the Directorate of Labour, long-term unemployment is on the rise. 1,749 were registered for six-month unemployment benefits at the end of March. By the end of April, that figure had risen to 3,269.
The national unemployment rate is currently 9.1%, and appears to be levelling off. 19% of those accepting benefits are at least partially employed. However, taken region by region, some areas are clearly better off than others. For example, in the southwestern peninsula of Suðurnes unemployment is at an astonishing 14.3%, while in the West Fjörds only 2.5% are underemployed. In fact, unemployment is declining in the east and the south of Iceland.
Among 14,814 people receiving unemployment benefits, 2,104 are foreigners, two-thirds of whom are from Poland.
The Directorate predicts that unemployment will measure out to be from 8.8% to 9.3% for the month of May.
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