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Earnings for full-time employees by occupation and sex 2014-2023

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Thousand ISK
Statistics Iceland
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Preliminary numbers.
Earnings are the remuneration an employee gets from the employer in exchange for labour or services.
Earnings are monthly earnings in thousand ISK.
Paid hours are monthly hours paid.
Data are based on the Icelandic Survey on Wages, Earnings and Labour Cost which is a sample survey.
Data are based on the following economic activities in the private sector: Manufacturing (C), Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply (D), Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (E), Construction (F), Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles (G), Transportation and storage (H), Information and communication (J), Financial and insurance activities (K). In the economic activity J small enterprises and enterprises in the IT business are missing.
In 2018 the economic activity Accommodation and food services (I) was added to the dataset. When comparing years it has to be kept in mind that the dataset has changed.
The economic activities Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (O), Education (P), and Human health and social work activities (Q) are only based on employees in the public sector. In O employees in the public sector are about 95% of the population, in P about 90% and 80% in Q. Employees in the public sector working in other economic activities are included in the dataset, most working in Arts, entertainment and recreation (R). A breakdown is not published for R as a sample from the private sector (about 50%) is missing.
Full-time employees are defined as employees whose total daytime hours are equal or exceed 90% of contractual working hours. Contractual working hours vary between collective agreements but are usually between 159.3 and 173.3 hours. It is worth mentioning that the shortening of the work week generally came into force for the private sector in 2020 but in 2021 for the public administration. See
A minimum of 30 employees in three legal units are required in order to publish data on sub-groups.
Data is based on employees 18 years and older in the survey data.


Occupational groups follow the Ístarf95 classification (based on ISCO-88). In addition there is an Icelandic addition of a 5th digit to distinguish general employees (0), general foremen (1), skilled craft workers (2) and skilled foremen (3). In occupations with no 5th digit all groups are included.


2149 Architects, engineers and related professionals not elsewhere classified

Occupations related to e.g. security, quality and project managing.

Shop salespersons

Employees in occupations 5221 and 5224, in economic activity 47111.

Shop salespersons - general employees

Employees in occupations 5221 and 5224, in economic activity 47111 and 5th digit 0.

Shop salespersons - foremen

Employees in occupations 5221 and 5224, in economic activity 47111 and 5th digit 1.

Fish industry workers

Employees in occupations 7419, 8279, 9321, 9322 and 9330 in economic activities 10201, 10202, 10203, 10204, and 10209.

Craft workers

Employees in occupational groups 7, 8 and 9 and 5th digit 2 and 3.

General, machine and specialized workers

Employees belonging to occupational groups 7, 8 and 9 and 5th digit 0 and 1.


Employees belonging to occupational groups 7, 8 and 9 and a 5th digit 1 and 3.

Foremen - foremen

Employees belonging to occupational groups 7, 8 and 9 and 5th digit 1.

VSTJ Foremen - skilled craft foremen

Employees belonging to occupational groups 7, 8 and 9 and 5th digit 3.


Basic earnings

Basic earnings are the remuneration for regular daytime working hours without any supplements.
In some cases employees have fixed-wage contracts and in those instances all earnings are part of basic earnings as the pay-roll systems do not record overtime hours. Fixed-wage contracts can be found in all occupational groups, but they are especially common among managers and specialists.

Regular earnings

Regular earnings are the remuneration for regular working hours that is ordinary working hours according to collective agreements, both daytime and shift-work hours.
When comparing regular earnings between occupations and occupational groups it has to be kept in mind that in the cases of fixed-wage contracts or fixed overtime payments, overtime hours are not recorded in the pay-roll system and thus they are included in the regular earnings.

Total regular earnings

Total regular earnings are the total remuneration per month including overtime.

Total earnings

Total earnings are the total remuneration per month including piece work, irregular bonuses and various other irregular payments, excluding payments in kind.

Hours paid

Hours paid are monthly working hours for full-time employees, whether being daytime, shift-work, piece work or overtime hours. To obtain weekly hours the hours paid are divided by (52/12).
Hours paid are usually a good estimator of hours worked. However in some occupational groups, for example among managers and professionals, fixed-wage contracts are common. Thus, employees do not get paid overtime, and their working hours might be underestimated. In other cases paid hours overestimate hours worked e.g. hours paid due to sickness or holidays and in some instances overtime hours are used instead of bonuses but the hours are not worked.



Number of observations in the dataset.

Weighted observations

Weighted number of observations in the dataset. The weight is based on the number of observations and the ISWEL weight. Each employee gets the weight of the employer and a weight based on number of months worked. This is necessary in order to let the sample reflect the population that is employees working for employers with 10 or more employees.