11. Nov 2022
27,900 employees in October – a 1.7% increase on October 2021

October 2022 saw a year-on-year increase of almost 500 employees.

The number of employees continues to grow, although this growth has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. In October 2022, the labour force increased by 1.7% compared to October 2021. The increase from October 2018 to October 2019 was 3.4%.


The big drop in the graph above occurred in April 2020, shortly after Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

Increase in both male and female employees

Employee numbers have increased for both sexes in the past year. In October, there were about 14,400 male and 13,600 female employees, a year-on-year increase of 1.8% for men and 1.5% for women.

The graph below shows employee numbers for each sex. The semi-transparent lines track the employee numbers, while the solid lines show the trend.


Trends in each main industrial sector

The two graphs below show the employee figures and the trends in the four main industrial sectors.

‘Governmental and other services’ has seen steady growth since 2014. This growth now appears to be slowing down.


‘Private services’ have recovered well from the pandemic. After steady growth in the past three years, this growth now also appears to be slowing down.


The growth in employee numbers in ‘construction and other manufacturing’ stopped in 2020 and the total number went down slightly. However, this number now appears to be going up again.


Employee numbers in ‘fishery and other natural resources’ tend to fluctuate more than in the other industrial sectors; nevertheless, there has been a clear increase since the low point in 2011. The employee number in this sector has increased from 3,500 in 2011 to about 4,300 in October 2022.


The table below shows employee numbers (October 2021 and October 2022) for each branch within the four main industrial sectors.

‘Fishery and other natural resources’ saw the biggest increase in employee numbers in the past year, going up by 3.2%. This is followed by ‘construction and other manufacturing’, which increased by 2.4%. The service sectors saw more modest growth, with ‘governmental and other services’ increasing by 1.7% and ‘private services’ increasing by 0.6%


More foreign workers

An increasing share of the labour force has non-Danish citizenship. In October, 7.1% of employees were non-Danish, up from 5.8% in October 2021. Ten years ago, 2.6% of employees had non-Danish citizenship.

Non-Danish employees predominantly work in fish processing, hotels and restaurants, aquaculture and household services.


Workers from outside Europe represent the highest relative growth in the employee figures in the past year. The number of non-European employees now represents 3.6% of the total labour force compared to 2.4% in October 2021.


About employees

An employee is anyone aged between 16 and 74 who earns a wage that is subject to tax at source (PAYE) and resides in the Faroe Islands at the time of wage payment. A person is regarded as an employee if he or she receives a wage payment which is no lower than a day wage for an unskilled worker, regardless of whether the wage is paid by a Faroese or an overseas company.

About the trend

The trend describes the employee trend by adjusting for seasonal effects and error components in the figures.

About the main industrial sectors

Grouped under the ‘fishery and other natural resources’ sector are the following branches: agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, extraction of raw materials, fish processing and activities not elsewhere indicated.

The ‘construction and other manufacturing’ sector includes: shipyards/machine shops, other manufacturing, construction and energy.

The ‘private services’ sector includes: trade and repair, hotels and restaurants, sea transport, other transport, communications, finance and insurance, business services. household services and organisations, culture, etc.

‘Governmental and other services’ includes: public administration and services (central administration, municipalities, education, health and social work), government institutions and the Ministries of Education and Health.

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