Unemployment in Iceland is now at the highest levels it’s been since unemployment was first measured in 1991.
The only other time unemployment has gotten close to the levels it’s at now was in the early 90s. But even then, unemployment never broke the 6% mark.
Today, of the 181,000 who were in the labor market, 13,100 – 7.2% – are unemployed. These figures do not take into account the underemployed, who also accept unemployment payments, albeit in smaller amounts.
At the same time, Icelanders are also working fewer hours than they were 19 years ago. In 1991, Icelandic men worked about 51 hours a week. Today, they now work about 44 hours. The working hours of women have stayed relatively the same over time, holding steady at about 35 hours a week.
On the plus side, more women are working now than in 1991. Two out of three are working full time today, as opposed to only half of women then. By contrast, nine out of ten men are fully employed.