Statistics Faroe Islands and other statistics agencies across the world use the definitions of unemployment given by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which is a United Nations agency. According to this definition, the unemployment rate reflects the proportion of the labour force that does not have a job, is available to the labour market and is actively looking for work.

In the monthly unemployment reports from Statistics Faroe Islands, unemployed people are defined as those who are registered as unemployed with the Faroese unemployment system and the social welfare services and who meet the above definition of unemployment.


  • Unemployed are individuals that do not have a job, are available to the labour market and are actively looking for work. The source to the Faroese unemployment numbers are individuals between 16-66 years registered as unemployed in the Faroese unemployment system and/or the social services who meet the definition.
  • Affected by unemployment: The number of people who have been unemployed for one or more days in a month.
  • Full-time unemployment: Since not everyone is unemployed every day of a given month, all individuals affected by unemployment are converted to full-time unemployed. For example, two persons who have been unemployed for half a month each are counted as one full-time unemployed person.
  • Unemployment rate: The full-time unemployment rate in % relative to the size of the labour force.
  • Labour force is an international measurement which counts the number of residents aged 15-66 who are capable of work.
  • Seasonally adjusted figures are adjusted for seasonal variations such as recurring seasonal activity patterns
  • Trend describes the unemployment trend by adjusting for seasonal effects and error components in the figures.
  • EA refers to the euro area with a fixed area composition of the current 19 countries.
  • EU (from June 2020) refers to EU27_2020, which is the European Union with a fixed area composition of the current 27 countries.

The annual figures from the labour force survey should be used for making international comparisons of unemployment.

Why is there a two-month lag in the unemployment figures?

Many delayed entries are filed after the end of the registered month. A two-month lag helps ensure accuracy in the statistics.

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