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Vorskýrsla 2021

English below



Kjaratölfræðinefnd gefur út tvær skýrslur á ári, að vori og hausti. Í skýrslunum eru settar fram upplýsingar sem nefndin er sammála um að gefi skýra mynd af stöðu og þróun kjara- og efna- hagsmála. Nefndin markar sér sjálf efnistök en í skýrslunum skal lýsa þróun launa, tekna og verðlags, stöðu og horfum í efnahags-og atvinnumálum, samkeppnishæfni landsins og gera alþjóðlegan samanburð.

Önnur skýrsla nefndarinnar Kjaratölfræði – Vorskýrslan 2021 kom út í apríl 2021.

Spring Report 2021

The Committee on Labour Market Statistics aims to issue reports in spring and autumn each year, and now presents its second report. Its three main sections concern, respectively, the economy; collective agreements concluded in the ongoing bargaining round; and wage statistics compiled by Statistics Iceland and sorted by labour and employer organisations. The focus is on the current bargaining round, stretching from the signing of the so-called Standard of Living Agreement in March 2019 up to and including January 2021.


By mid-April 2021, a total of 320 collective agreements had been renegotiated during this bargaining round, with talks still ongoing on 19 agreements, for an expected total of 339.


Data on wage levels and wage developments by gender and scope of collective agreements are now published for the first time. Men’s monthly earnings are higher than women’s in most cases, the main exception being the Icelandic Teachers’ Union, where women’s average earnings are higher. Women’s earnings have increased at a faster rate than those of men, helping to reduce the pay gap.


We also publish for the first time data on wage developments by origin (Iceland/immigrant) and scope of collective agreements. Results are shown for groups where the number of observations is sufficiently high to satisfy statistical requirements, which is true for three groups within the four organisations ASÍ, BHM, BSRB and KÍ. Immigrants’ basic earnings were below average in each of the groups at the start of the period, in March 2019, but subsequently increased faster in all groups, with the exception of BHM members, leading to a generally lower pay gap.


According to data compiled by Statistics Iceland, hourly pay increases in most groups have exceeded the cost estimates used during negotiations. Among the reasons for this are the effect of a shortened working week on calculated hourly pay, and the effect of the wage growth guarantee agreed on in the previous negotiating round in the public sector.


This second report by the Committee was prepared, like the first one, under unusual circumstances. The economy has suffered an acute slowdown as a result of the corona crisis, which has lasted longer than anyone could have expected. A large number of businesses have either closed or been forced to scale back their activities significantly, unemployment has soared, and many industries are experiencing a severe economic downturn, although their situation varies considerably. Thus, the average changes observed in the wage statistics mask an exceptional situation where individual persons are affected to a highly varying degree. While the purchasing power of hourly pay rates remains high in a historical context, the purchasing power of those who have lost their jobs has fallen by several tens of per cent.


The report has been prepared in close cooperation with Statistics Iceland. The Committee on Labour Market Statistics expresses its thanks to the staff of the agency, in particular Margrét Kristín Indridadóttir, Head of Unit. The Committee would also like to thank Magnús Valur Pálsson for his work on the layout of the report, and Ari Skúlason for his contributions to its contents.

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