Group layoffs and bankruptcies continue in Iceland, despite some positive changes

752 people lost their jobs in 23 group layoffs last year in Iceland. The construction industry was again worst-hit and 69 percent of those laid off live in the capital region.

Construction workers make up by far the biggest proportion of those who lost their jobs, with 248 let go of in group layoffs. 102 people lost their jobs in group layoffs in the information industry, and a further 100 in financial services, according to Statistics Iceland figures. 140 of the 752 individuals lost their jobs last January and a further 123 in June.

Around a third of announced group layoffs had not been completed by 31st December; meaning that at least a further 240 people will follow this year.

Mass layoffs aside, the rate of unemployment in Iceland remains on a steady downward curve and the most recent figures suggest it stands at 5.9 percent, after scraping ten percent in 2009.

In related news, during the first 11 months of 2011 the number of companies in the country going bankrupt went up by 63 percent on the same period the year before. In November, on the other hand, 166 new businesses started up, compared to 117 in November 2010, RÚV reports. Overall there were 1,568 new companies registered between January and November last year.

115 companies went bankrupt in November, compared to 101 companies in November 2010, according to new Statistics Iceland data.

The most bankruptcies were among financial and insurance companies.

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