The latest unemployment figures, while not boding well in the immediate future, are still an improvement when looked at from a longer-term perspective.
Iceland’s national rate of unemployment in November was 7.1%, RÚV reports, taking a 0.3% uptick from October.
A number of trends continue to stay the same as well. As in nearly every month previous for the past year, more women than men were unemployed: 7.3% to 6.9%, respectively. Unemployment also remains lowest in the northwest of the country, at 2.6%, and highest in the southwest region of Suðurnes, at 12.3%. The unemployment rate in the capital area is 7.9%.
Despite the short-term prospects, Directorate of Labour chairman Gissur Pétursson told reporters that when Iceland’s unemployment rate is looked at on a larger scale, the outlook is more positive.
Gissur pointed out that unemployment always sees a small upswing in the winter months. However, “it has increased more slowly, and the unemployment rate is lower than it was at this time last year.” The national rate of unemployment for 2010 as a whole was 8.6%. He added that there have been fewer group lay-offs with each month.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Iceland’s unemployment rate will eventually drop to 3% by 2014.