A new poll conducted by a labour union showed a high percentage of Poles who cannot speak Icelandic, causing union officials to worry about their unemployment situation.
The poll, conducted by the labour union Efling, showed that some 90% of Polish residents in Iceland do not speak the language. Although an unknown disclosed percentage of these Poles will be staying in Iceland for a year or less, the matter has sparked cause for concern regarding their economic situation.
Harpa Ólafsdóttir, an economist for Efling, believes the low language skills contribute to the fact that 20% of Poles in Iceland are unemployed; more than double the national average. A lack of speaking the native language limits options, she points out, showing that the poll also revealed unemployed Poles seek fewer jobs than unemployed Icelanders – although this could also be attributed to Icelanders knowing the procedure for filing for unemployment better.
No data was revealed in the poll regarding what language classes are available to unemployed foreigners, nor how many were seeking to learn or currently trying to learn Icelandic.