LMI of NO0

 

For the past two years Norway has been in an economic downturn driven by lower activity in the petroleum industry. The downturn has led to lower employment growth and increased unemployment, and the counties and occupations linked to the oil industry have been the worst affected. Registered unemployment increased during 2015, but stabilised in 2016. There are now signs that economic conditions are improving. This can be seen in the fact that growth in the Norwegian economy picked up in the first quarter of 2017, and both exports of traditional goods and oil investments increased for the first time after several quarters of decline, according to provisional figures from the national accounts. The number of people registered as fully unemployed and jobseekers participating in measures has fallen so far in 2017. This is also the case in Southern and Western Norway and among people with an occupational background in engineering and ICT. The number of redundancy and layoff notices received by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) has also fallen so far this year. Oil investments are expected to be lower this year than last year and to level off in 2018. The fall this year will, however, be much smaller than in the previous two years and thus have less of an impact on growth in the Norwegian economy than has been the case in recent years.

The Norwegian labour market is still characterised by the economic downturn which started in 2014. However, there are large regional differences when it comes to the demand for labour. Many of the skills in demand are to be found within Norway, but the challenges in achieving sufficient mobility mean that employers may have challenges in filling their recruitment needs. The requirement of domestic mobility among unemployed Norwegians receiving benefits from NAV is, however, being increased as of 2017, with the hope of achieving a better match between supply and demand in the labour market.

Building and construction is the occupational group which had the largest fall in gross unemployment over the past year, with a drop of 15 %. This is connected to a large increase in housing investments and increased employment in building and construction. Gross unemployment has also fallen in the manufacturing industry over the last six months after an increase of around 40 % in the first part of the economic downturn. In education and in nursing and healthcare, unemployment has remained stable throughout the oil-driven economic downturn. These are also among the occupational groups with the lowest rate of unemployment.

Within sectors such as health and seasonal industries like tourism and fishing, there is demand for labour. As regards health workers, there is demand at both state and municipal level and primarily for doctors and nurses. However, in the municipalities there may be challenges regarding the hours worked; as is known, there may be a need for a qualified nurse, but there may not be sufficient funding or work to offer more than a fairly low number of hours. Similarly, the language requirements are very strict to be able to work in the Norwegian health service. These factors are important to note for jobseekers from the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

Population: 5 277 762 as at 21 August 2017.

70.2 % of the Norwegian population is in the labour force (aged 15-74) as at 1 August 2017. According to NAV, at the end of September 2017, there were 68 979 fully unemployed persons in Norway, which is a fall of 9 634 (12 %) compared with the same time last year. However, at the end of 2016 a 16.2 % increase was recorded in the number of registered unemployed with a long university or college education compared with the same time in 2015. Regarding age distribution, those aged 15-24 have felt the weakening of the labour market most over the past year. It is worth mentioning that there are two measures of unemployment in Norway. NAV’s unemployment figures show the number of people registered as jobseekers with NAV. Statistics Norway's Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a sample survey which maps the labour force, employment and unemployment. People without work who are not entitled to unemployment benefits or to participate in labour market measures may lack incentives to register as jobseekers with NAV, whilst responding to the LFS that they are unemployed and actively seeking work. This is one of the reasons for the discrepancy between the number of people registered as unemployed with NAV and the LFS figures.

There were 59 300 job vacancies (seasonally adjusted) in the second quarter of 2017.

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