Iceland's Immigrants The Most Employed In The World - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Immigrants The Most Employed In The World

Published January 18, 2016

Photos by
BenAveling/Wikimedia Commons

Immigrant participation in the workforce is highest of all in Iceland, topping other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

According to the latest report, Iceland has the fifth lowest rate of unemployment amongst OECD countries, at 4.1%. Japan, at 3%, had the lowest unemployment rate of all.

When looking at percentages of a country’s immigrant population in the job market, no country topped Iceland. About 84% of immigrants in Iceland are currently working, while the OECD average was about 65%.

“I think this is very good and an indication that we’re doing something right,” Tatjana Latinovic, vice chairperson of the Immigration Council, told RÚV. “I’m also pleased to see what little difference there is between the employment participation of native-born Icelanders and new arrivals. So this is just very good news.”

Employment participation was a common theme where Iceland appeared at or near the top of an OECD list. For example, Iceland was in first place for employment participation amongst those aged 55 to 64, at 86.5%, while the OECD average is only 59%. The employment participation of women in Iceland, at 83%, also put it far above the OECD average of 67%.


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