Reports 2013/49

Immigrants on the labour market

Data from the Labour Force Surveys

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The main source to describe the situation for the immigrants on the labour market is the registerbased statistics on employment and unemployment. By using data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a supplement we will achieve still more information regarding this group, for example on actual and desired working hours, temporary employment and patterns of working time. Moreover the LFS has more data than the registers on job seeking and desire for work.

The main problem using the LFS for statistics on immigrants is the size of the sample and the statistical uncertainty. The group of immigrants in Norway is rather heterogeneous regarding their situation on the labour market, and therefore it is required to divide among at least two groups in the presentation of statistics. A further dividing by other variables will require long time-series in order to draw any conclusions.

Immigrants are defined as persons born abroad by foreign-born parents who have emigrated to Norway. In this report they are divided in two groups by country of birth:

  1. Immigrants from EU/EFTA-countries, North-America, Australia and New Zealand.
  2. Immigrants from Eastern Europe except EU, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania except Australia and New Zealand.

Employed people on temporary contracts constituted 8 per cent of total employment in 2011. Among immigrants from Asia, Africa etc. the rate was 14 per cent. This higher rate of temporary employments may partly be explained with the fact that more immigrants are newcomers on the labour market.

The share in full time employment among immigrants aged 25-54 from Asia, Africa etc. was 10 percentage points lower than among the non-immigrant population in employment. Average contractual working hours per week were highest among immigrants from EU, North-America etc. (35.7 hours), then among the non-immigrant population (34.1 hours) and lowest among immigrants from Asia, Africa etc. (37.2 hours).

Among the part-time employed people 10 per cent were classified as underemployed in 2011. The share of underemployment was twice as large among immigrants from Asia, Africa etc.

The unemployment rate is considerably higher among immigrants than in the non-immigrant population. Amont the immigrants in total the rate was 8.9 per cent in 2011, and 12.1 per cent among immigrants from Asia, Africa etc. For the non-immigrant population the unemployment rate was 2.6 per cent acccording to the LFS.

Some people not in the labour force have a desire for paid work although they are not classified as unemployed people. This is the case for 13 per cent of all people outside the labour force, exclusive the immigrants. Among immigrants, however, this share is approximately twice as high.

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