From Iceland — Rise In Women’s Unemployment

Rise In Women’s Unemployment

Published September 29, 2020

Photo by

More women than men are losing their jobs in Iceland, Fréttablaðið reported this morning. An expert from the Directorate of Labour predicts that general unemployment will peak at the end of this year.

Unemployment amongst women is now half a percentage higher than unemployment amongst men. This compares to the start of the pandemic, when unemployment amongst women was a percentage point below unemployment amongst men. In the Suðurnes the difference is considerably more marked, with women’s unemployment standing a whole 5% higher than men’s unemployment.

According to Karl Sigurðsson, an expert at the Directorate of Labour, this is because industries which are dominated by men–such as fisheries–have not emerged badly from the pandemic, whereas there have been increased redundancies in social services and tourism, where women are more likely to have jobs.

Unemployment in Iceland was 8.5% at the beginning of August and rose to 9.4% when those with a reduced employment rate were added to the figure–a total of over 21,000 people. According to Karl, this increase is largely because people who were laid off in the spring were able to complete their notice periods before actually becoming unemployed. Karl expects unemployment to keep increasing until the end of the year, when it will likely peak at around 10%. “We are optimistic that it will start to change in April or May and unemployment will then decrease.”

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!