Iceland’s unemployment rate is still under the average unemployment rate for OECD countries, although thousands have been without work for a year or more.
While the OECD average rate of unemployment is 8.8%, Iceland’s unemployment is at 8%. This is even lower than the EU average, where unemployment is at 10%.
Nonetheless, thousands of people in Iceland have been unemployed for a year or more. The Directorate of Labor estimates that the long-term unemployed will reach 10,000 – about 3% of the nation – within months.
Hrafnhildur Tómasdóttir, the department manager for the counseling department of the Directorate of Labor, told Vísir that long-term unemployment is a special cause for concern, and so special measures have been taken. Ten new counsellors have been hired by the directorate to help find work for the unemployed.