Please note that this press release was corrected 26 November 2021 at 16:30. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was corrected to 5.7% instead of 5.8%. Figures have been corrected and updated.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October 2021 was 5.7% according to figures from the Icelandic Labour Force Survey. Seasonally adjusted activity rate was 79.8% and seasonally adjusted employment rate 75.2%. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 2.2 percentage points between months while the seasonally adjusted employment rate decreased by 1.3 percentage points. The seasonally adjusted trend of unemployment has decreased by 0.9 percentage points over the past six months and the trend of the employment rate increased by 1.4 percentage points.

Based on unadjusted measures, the number of 16-74 years old active on the labour market was estimated to be 210,500 (±7,200) in October 2021, which is equivalent to 79.1% (±2.7) activity rate. Of the labour force, 198,900 (±5,900) were employed and 11,600 (±3,400) unemployed and looking for a job. The employment rate was estimated to be 74.7% (±3.0) and the unemployment rate 5.5% (±1.6). Employed individuals worked 36 (±1.3) hours on average per week in October 2021. Comparison with October 2020 shows that the unemployment rate decreased by 3.2 percentage points between years and the employment rate increased by 5.7 percentage points.

It was estimated that 30,300 individuals had unmet need for employment (labour market slack) in October 2021, which is equivalent to 13.8% of the labour force and potential labour force. Of these individuals, 38.1% were unemployed, 18.6% willing to work but not looking, 10.0% in job search but not willing to work and 33.3% working part-time and wanting to work more. Compared with October 2020, labour market slack has decreased by 3.7 percentage points between years. The seasonally adjusted trend of labour market slack has increased slightly or by 0.4 percentage points over the past six months.

Please note that the sum of sub-items might be inconsistent with the overall results due to rounding.

Table 1. Labour market over the past 6 months — Seasonally adjusted
 May-21Jun-21Jul-21Aug-21Sep-21Oct-21
Total 16–74 years
Activity rate78.579.278.579.179.379.2
Employment rate73.474.374.975.375.775.5
Unemployment rate5.65.55.25.13.55.8
Hours worked34.634.835.234.935.235.2
Labour force206,900209,000207,400209,600210,600210,700
Employed193,300196,000197,900199,600201,100200,900
Unemployed11,60011,40010,70010,6007,30012,200
Inactive57,50054,80054,90055,60054,50054,000
Estimated population263,400263,800264,300264,900265,600266,000

About the data
The Icelandic Labour Force Survey for October 2021 covers four weeks, from 4th to 31st of October 2021. The sample consisted of 1,532 individuals, 16-74 years old and with legal residence in Iceland. Excluding those who were sampled while living abroad or deceased, the net sample consisted of 1,492 individuals. Usable answers were obtained from 936 individuals which corresponds to a 62.7% response rate.

Statistics