From Iceland — Immigrants And Young People Worst Hit Financially By Pandemic

Immigrants And Young People Worst Hit Financially By Pandemic

Published October 16, 2020

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Although older people are most at risk from the pandemic in terms of health, young people and immigrants are more at risk economically, Vísir revealed this morning.

ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labour, presented a report yesterday on the economic impact of the pandemic. This concluded that in Iceland, young people and foreign nationals have been the worst hit. Unemployment amongst foreign nationals is high above the average in the general population.

Halla Gunnarsdóttir, CEO of ASÍ, said on the radio that foreign nationals often choose jobs in the tourism industry. Tourism has a particularly high employment rate in Iceland compared to other Nordic countries, with less of a support network than other industries and, naturally, it has been very hard hit by the travel restrictions introduced in Iceland and around the world to stop the spread of the virus.

Youth unemployment is also rising, and stands at 18% in the age group 16-24, with a large number of young people neither working nor studying.

“This is something we believe needs to be addressed by specific labour market measures,” said Halla.

“The expert group urges the government to establish a comprehensive employment policy, which is at the same time a tool for dealing with the consequences of the COVID crisis and promoting future development. It is also necessary that specific measures be targeted at young people and foreign nationals, in addition to addressing the regional problem of unemployment. Finally, the group considers it important to closely monitor the gender-related effects of the COVID crisis and that labor market measures take them into account,” the report concluded on the ASÍ website.

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