While unemployment for the entire nation was at 8.2% in December, the level of unemployment varies greatly between regions.
In the West Fjords, for example, unemployment is at its lowest, at only 3.1%, showing a slight increase from 2.8% the month previous. Unemployment in the western portion of the country (which lies between the West Fjords and the Reykjavík area) has been holding steady at 5.3%.
Unemployment in Iceland is highest in Suðurnes, the southwestern peninsula which includes Keflavík and Grindavík. There, unemployment is at 13.6%. A partial explanation for this is the fact that the US Navy base which used to employ hundreds in the region closed in 2006, and even knowing this was going to happen, regional authorities did little to actively find new employment opportunities for Icelanders who worked there. At the time, the main idea suggest was that people commute to Reykjavík and find work there.
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