Over 200 Firings Across Three Icelandic Companies Announced As Unemployment Rises - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Over 200 Firings Across Three Icelandic Companies Announced As Unemployment Rises

Published September 26, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

The firing of over 200 Icelanders across three Icelandic companies have been announced in the past 24 hours alone. Meanwhile, unemployment has risen since last July.

The firing of 100 people from Arion Bank reported on earlier today is only the tip of the iceberg. 26 people will be fired from Íslandsbanki by the end of September, RÚV reports, and yesterday, Icelandair announced they would be firing 87 pilots.

As with Arion Bank, Íslandsbanki also cited high operational costs as the reason behind the firings. In Icelandair’s case, the grounding of their troubled Boeing 737-Max planes has had a significant impact on the company’s bottom line, contributing to the firings. That said, Icelandair hopes to be able to re-hire these pilots next spring, so this may be some brief turbulence for Iceland’s top airline.

Meanwhile, a new report from Statistics Iceland shows that unemployment in August 2019 was at 4.4%, marking an increase of about 1.3% since last July.

When looked at over the past six months, unemployment in Iceland has been in the 3%-4.5% range with the exception of last May, when it got has high as 4.8%. A clearer picture on the strength of the economy will likely come to light this autumn, and probably after Iceland Airwaves, as tourism numbers begin to wind down.

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