24. Mar 2020
Major industry branch changes in the labour market over the past five years

Below is an analysis of changes within each industry sector over the past five years.

The Faroese labour market has seen a total increase of about 3,700 employees in the past five years. This figure can be broken down as follows:

  • 2,000 men and 1,700 women.
  • Some 670 had non-Faroese citizenship.
  • The biggest increase was in the construction industry (847) and the municipal sector (678). The smallest increase was in central administration (27) and in the fishing industry (11).
  • Out of the 22 industry sectors, the municipal sector represents the largest share of employees.
  • The 25-40 age group saw the largest growth. The number of old age pensioners in employment also grew significantly.


In the growth from 2014 to 2019, two sectors stand out: ‘construction’ and ‘municipalities and state institutions’. 


The highest employee numbers are in ‘municipalities and state institutions’ and ‘health and social services’


The gender gap in the labour market has seen further growth in the past five years.


The past five years have seen a big rise in the population, not least due to extensive immigration. This is also reflected in the increase in employees in this period, with foreign nationals making up almost a fifth of the overall increase in employees.


Most new foreign employees work in construction and private services.


A vast majority of new employees since 2014 are in the 25-39 age bracket. This also applies regarding the increase of employees relative to the population in each age bracket.


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.

The annual statement is based on the monthly statement for November.