The firing of over 200 Icelanders across three Icelandic companies was announced in the last week of September. The firing of 100 people from Arion Bank is only the tip of the iceberg. 26 people were fired from Íslandsbanki, while Icelandair announced they would be firing 87 pilots. As with Arion Bank, Íslandsbanki also cited high operational costs as the reason behind the firings. In Icelandair’s case, the grounding of their troubled Boeing 737-Max planes has had a significant impact on the company’s bottom line, contributing to the firings. Meanwhile, a new report from Statistics Iceland shows that unemployment in August 2019 was at 4.4%, marking an increase of about 1.3% since last July. When looked at over the past six months, unemployment in Iceland has been in the 3%-4.5% range with the exception of last May, when it got as high as 4.8%.
- The Reykjavík Grapevine -