Unemployment In Iceland Dips Below 3% - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Unemployment In Iceland Dips Below 3%

Published November 22, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Unemployment levels in Iceland have gone below 3%, continuing a downward trend, but purchasing power has not kept up with wages.

RÚV reports that, according to the latest figures from Statistics Iceland, unemployment was at 2.9% last month, down from 3.7% during the same time last year.

This marks the second time in the past decade that unemployment has been under 3% in October, the first time being two years ago, when it was at 2.7%. There are currently 204,700 people on Iceland’s labour market, increasing by 3,900 people between last year and this year.

However, while wages have increased on average across all sectors by 6.2% over the past 12 months, purchasing power has only increased by 3.2% during the same period of time.

Iceland’s labour movement has taken a stronger stance for workers’ rights lately, with Iceland’s major labour unions demanding higher wages. As collective bargaining negotiations for many sectors loom near, management is still insisting that there is not much room for pay rises, but the unions have declared their intent to fight.


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