Data for research

Obtaining labour market data



Do you need data about the population’s attachment to the labour market, such as industry, place of work, hours of work, occupation or unemployment? Here you will find an overview of labour market data and variables that you can obtain from Statistics Norway.

To order labour market data, you need to complete the variable list for employment (Excel, in Norwegian) and select which variables you want. The list then needs to be included with the application you send to Statistics Norway to obtain data. 

Data on employment

The data on employment is retrieved from the register-based employment statistics and gives a picture of the situation at a specific point in time (the third week in November). In the documentation, you will find more information on the data basis for register-based employment statistics.

Data is also available on persons outside the labour force, i.e. those who are neither employed nor unemployed. Data includes information on, for example, labour market initiatives, education, pensions and recipients of NAV benefits, and is retrieved from Statistics Norway’s System for personal data (in Norwegian). This data also refers to the third week in November, but the reference points vary in some of the source registers, and there are therefore also differences at the micro level.

The employment data is updated in June of the year following the year of the statistics, while data from the System for personal data is updated at the end of the following year.

Historical data on employment

The variable list atlto (Excel, in Norwegian) can be used to order data on all employment situations for the period 1995–2014. This is the basis data that is included in the production of employment statistics up to 2014, and includes links to information from the NAV’s Register of Employers and Employees (Aa-registeret) and the End of the Year Certificate Register (Lønns- og trekkoppgaveregisteret). This data collection has no updates after 2014. The linking of these registers was replaced by the ‘a-ordningen’ in 2015 and was continued in a new separate variable list based on this new arrangement.

Similarly, the variable list aareg (Excel, in Norwegian), which contains information from the Register of Employers and Employees, is used to order data on all employment situations reported to the register for the period 1983–1994. This is the basis data that was included in the production of employee statistics from 1983–2001, which was the precursor to the employment statistics. This data collection has no updates after 1994.

Note that data for the period 1983–1994 is not linked to wages information or cleaned in relation to data on wages. In the register-based employment statistics and System for personal data, information on wages is used to determine whether an employment situation is to be considered as active or not. The organisation number was adopted as an identifier in 1995, which means that there is no direct link between data prior to 1994 and later years. The data basis also experienced a number of problems related to delays in reporting to the Register of Employers and Employees.

New data basis as from 2015

As from 2015, register-based employment statistics are based on a new data basis for employees, A-ordningen. As of November, the employment statistics were continued as before, and the break in the statistics is described in more detail in the article Details of the relationship between old and new statistics (in Norwegian).

Much of the data from a-ordningen on employment and wages for employees that can be obtained is found in a variable list on the start page for employment and wages.

Definition of documentation of variables

In the variable list, you will find links to definitions of variables and code lists for the variables that are relevant. Documentation beyond this, such as error sources and the statistical basis, can be found in the individual employment statistics.

Statistics Norway publishes several statistics that show the number of employees. The difference between these is explained in an article about what the different employment statistics show (in Norwegian).

Data within other areas

You can also obtain various datasets with variables within other areas. Remember here to include all of the completed variable lists as an attachment to the application to obtain data.

If you need event history data on employment, this is available in FD-Trygd. Note that the various data sources have different areas of application and/or variables.