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Iceland hits record low unemployment rate

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Iceland hits record low unemployment rate

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Iceland recently hit a record low unemployment rate as it was surveyed at only 1% in July in a report from Hagstofa Íslands (The Statistical Bureau of Iceland). The country appears to have recovered from the banking crash of 2008 that affected Iceland heavily.

Unemployment rates in Iceland have historically been quite low as it never went above 4% in the 70s and 80s. Unemployment soared in the mid 90s and again after the banking crash of 2008 yet it never passed 9%. Ever since the crash the rate of unemployed people has been decreasing and has now hit this record low since coordinated tests started in 2003, Rúv reports.

Labor participation has always been quite strong in Iceland for its size. Luxembourg has a similar population size and the unemployment rate currently stands at 6.9% there. The Nordic countries of Norway and Finland come in at 4.5% and 8.9% respectively.

At the same time as unemployment rates dwindle, wages have risen and are now at the same point they were before the banking crash of 2008. The low unemployment rate at this point in time means that only 2100 people in Iceland are without a job. Gaps in the labour market have increasingly been covered by foreign workers in the last couple of years, especially so in construction and the tourism industry.

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