During the 12-month period from March 2018 to February 2019, the average total number of employers in Iceland was 18,441 and the average number of employees was 194,700. This is an increase of 560 (3.1%) employers and 4,800 (2.5%) employees compared with the period from March 2017 to February 2018.

In February 2019, there were about 127,600 employees in the business sectors which is a decrease of 200 ( 0.1%) as compared with February 2018. During this 12-month period, the total number of employees increased by 1,400 (0.8%).


Number of employers and employees in selected activities
Employers Employees in February
  Feb. 2019 2018 2019 Change %
All activities 17,898 185,700 187,200 1,400 0.8
Business sectors (NACE no. 03-82, 95-96) 14,067 127,800 127,600 -200 -0.1
Fisheries (NACE no. 031, 102) 436 8,300 8,100 -300 -3.2
Manufacturing except fish processing (NACE no. 10-33 except 102)1,030 16,700 16,800 100 0.4
Construction (NACE no. 41-43)2,812 13,000 13,400 500 3.5
Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 45)502 3,500 3,400 -100 -1.8
Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 46)986 8,700 8,800 100 1.4
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE no. 47)864 15,000 14,900 -100 -0.8
Public administration, compulsory social security and education (NACE no. 84-85)594 41,100 42,200 1,100 2.7
Human health and social work activities (NACE no. 86-88)1,162 16,700 16,800 100 0.6
Tourism industries (NACE no. 491, 4932, 4939, 501, 503, 511, 551-553, 561, 563, 771, 7721, 79)1,845 26,000 25,600 -400 -1.5
High technology manufacturing and services (NACE no. 20, 254, 26-30, 325, 53, 58, 60-63, 72)94112,80012,8000-0.3

Causes of error and revision of statistics
These figures are preliminary. When using income data as the source, there is a risk of underestimating the latest figures if employers do not submit information in a timely manner. Other causes of error include reimbursements to former employees. When new data are published, previous figures are revised. For more information on revisions and the magnitude of recent revisions by economic activity, please refer to the metadata.

Previously published statistics on employers and employees have been revised to take into account the latest available information on salaries and classifications of employers based on their main economic activities. The number of employers in January 2019 is now estimated at 17,826 and the total number of employees is estimated at 187,600. The number of employees increased by 2,700 (1.5%) from January 2018 to January 2019.

In April, the number of employers and employees in January were estimated at 17,742 and 187,500, respectively. The number of employees was then estimated to have increased by 2,600 (1.4%) from January 2018 to January 2019.

Other statistics on the business economy
It should be noted that these figures do not include information on self-employed people with calculated remuneration, a common situation in construction, agriculture and creative industries. Statistics Iceland publishes register-based data on people in employment including those who are on maternity leave or self-employed. That publication encompasses the number of employees by gender, age, origin and legal residence.

Statistics Iceland conducts a continuous labour force survey (LFS). The main results (e.g. unemployment) are published monthly and more detailed results (number of full-time employees, working hours by industry, etc.) are published annually. The labour force survey provides information on both employees and self-employed people and only people who are permanently living in Iceland are included in the sample. Hence, the LFS figures are not the same as published in this press release. Data on the number of employers and employees should be used mainly as short-term indicators and to provide information on within-year variations.

Statistics Iceland publishes annual income and balance statements of enterprises by activity, based on tax returns to provide a detailed picture of the individual sectors for the period 2002-2017.

Statistics on activities related to tourism
Statistics on all economic activities