From Iceland — Unemployment Now Higher Than After 2008 Bank Collapse

Unemployment Now Higher Than After 2008 Bank Collapse

Published November 17, 2020

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The Directorate of Labour estimates that unemployment will be at 11.3% in December, compared to 9.3% when the bank collapse peaked in February and March 2009, Kjarninn reported over the weekend. This was stated in a new monthly report from the Directorate of Labour, and is a result of the job losses that have taken place due to the current pandemic. Tourism has been particularly hard hit as an industry as so few people have been able to continue travelling.

Even if unemployment doesn’t reach 11.3% in December, it measured 9.9% in October–meaning that it is already higher than the unemployment peak after the bank collapse, but is set to get even worse.

The Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) published its economic forecast for 2020-2022 yesterday. Their forecast predicts that unemployment will remain above 6.9% throughout the entire period, despite a forecasting 1.8% economic growth next year.

Unemployment is still higher in the southwest region of Suðurnes than in any other area in Iceland, as is often the case. There, it measured a total of 21.2% in October. The general unemployment rate was 20.1%, but 1.1 percentage points were added due to the partial benefit route. Unemployment is also particularly bad amongst foreign nationals: 41% of all unemployed people in Iceland belong to this group, despite making up only 14% of the country’s population.

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