Continued growth among employed immigrants
Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants
innvregsys, Employment among immigrants, register-based, immigrant background, country background, period of residence, employees, occupational groups, self-employed, industries (for example manufacturing, public administration, restaurants)Employment , Labour market and earnings, Labour market and earnings, Immigration and immigrants



Employment among immigrants, register-based2014, 4th quarter


Continued growth among employed immigrants

The number of employed people in Norway increased by 31 000 from the 4th quarter of 2013 to the 4th quarter of 2014. Of these, 23 400 were immigrants. Hence, immigrants contributed to 75.5 per cent of the employment growth. Immigrants from the EEA countries contributed to most of this growth.

Employed total population and employed immigrants by world region. Absolute figures and in per cent of persons aged 15-74 years in each group. 4th quarter
2014Change last twelve months
Absolute figuresPer cent2013 - 2014
Absolute figuresPercentage points
Population in total2 650 00068.531 000-0.1
Non-immigrant population2 268 17569.47 587-0.1
Immigrants, total381 82563.423 4130.3
The Nordic Countries48 79176.0967-0.3
Western Europe except the Nordic Countries and Turkey43 18270.61 792-0.1
EU members in Eastern Europe113 33073.210 4840.3
Eastern Europe outside of EU31 77863.71 7010.9
North America and Oceania6 76366.01420.0
Asia96 46456.05 2960.8
Africa29 28942.02 4960.1
South and Central America12 22862.6535-0.5

The number of employed immigrants from the EU countries in Eastern Europe increased by about 10 500. If we also add immigrants from the other EEA countries, there was a total growth of 13 200 employed from this region. Of the other immigrant groups, the Asians had the strongest increase of 5 300 employed.

Only small growth in the employment rate among immigrants

In addition to the number of employed immigrants increasing from 2013 to 2014, the settled immigrant population (15-74 years) also had a considerable growth during this period. Therefore, the employment rate only increased by 0.3 percentage points, from 63.1 per cent in 2013 to 63.4 in 2014, but only female immigrants had a growth (0.6 percentage points). Among male immigrants the employment rate was unchanged.

Within the whole Norwegian population (15-74 years), the employment rate was 68.5 per cent, which was 0.1 percentage point below the level of 2013. This small decrease is due to the growth within the population aged 67–74 years.

Limitation of age groups impacts the employment disparity

There is a disparity of 5.1 percentage points in the employment rate between immigrants and the whole Norwegian population within the age group 15-74 years. For the population aged 15-66 years, however, this disparity is twice as large, at 10.3 percentage points. This is due to an enhanced level of employment among the majority population when the oldest stratum is excluded from the calculation. The majority population differ from the immigrant population, with a much larger share of people aged 67-74 years. Within the most occupationally active age groups; 25-39 years and 40-54 years, the disparities are even larger; 11 and 13 percentage points respectively.

Large disparities among immigrants

Immigrants from the EEA countries, who include large numbers of labour immigrants, have considerably higher rates than other immigrants. The employment rates among these groups in the 4th quarter of 2014 were as follows: 76 per cent (the Nordic countries), 73.2 per cent (EU countries in Eastern Europe) and 70.6 per cent (Western Europe). Next we find immigrants from North America and Oceania with a share of employed at 66 per cent. Immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU had 63.7 per cent employed and the group from Latin America was not far behind, with 62.6 per cent employed. Asians, meanwhile, had a lower rate, at 56 per cent. As in earlier years, the African group had the lowest rate, at 42 per cent.

These disparities have been quite stable irrespective of economic cycles. Immigrants from Asia and Africa have larger shares of refugees with a shorter time of residence in Norway than other groups, and particularly the African immigrants. With a longer time of residence, the employment level ascends within most of the immigrant groups, but the disparities among the groups do not level out. Even among those with 10 years or more of residence in Norway, African immigrants have the lowest employment rate, at 50 per cent, which is far below the average for immigrants.

Larger disparity from the majority population among female immigrants

The employment gap in relation to the majority population is larger among women than men. This phenomenon relates, in particular, to some established groups such as the Pakistanis and the Turks, and more recently settled groups from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. The low employment level among those immigrant women reduces the average within the respective groups.

Quite small, but varied changes

The changes in the employment rate from 2013 to 2014 varied significantly among the immigrant groups. Immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU and those from Asia had the largest growth, of 0.9 and 0.8 percentage points respectively. Immigrants from EU countries in Eastern Europe also showed an increase, at 0.3 percentage points, while the groups from Latin America and the Nordic countries experienced a decrease, at 0.5 and 0.3 percentage points respectively. Within the remaining groups there were only marginal changes.

Higher employment among Norwegian-born to immigrant parents than immigrants

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is still a rather small and young population group. Almost half of them are below 22 years of age (within the 15-74 years population), and many will be in education and outside the labour force. Thus the employment rate will be considerably reduced when considering the group as a whole. However, if we look at the more occupationally active age groups, 25-29 years and 30-39 years, the employment rates are 72.8 and 76.8 per cent respectively. This is about 8 and 5 percentage points above the immigrants’ level and about 5 percentage points below the employment level in the whole population within the corresponding age groups.