Increased employment and reduced unemployment
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants
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Labour force surveyQ2 2000



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Increased employment and reduced unemployment

Seasonally adjusted figures indicate an increase in employment mainly from first to second quarter 2000. Seasonally adjusted unemployment figures show a considerably decrease last quarter, after a corresponding rise last autumn.

 Workforce, employed and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures in thousands

73.8 per cent of the population aged 16-74 were either employed or unemployed in second quarter 2000. The labour force participation rate as a whole remained almost unchanged last year, but increased for men and decreased for women. Among both men and women the labour force participation decreased in the age group 30-54.

Compared to second quarter 1999, retail trade, business services and public administration had a considerably increase in employment. Manufacturing, transport and primary industries, on the other hand, showed a decline in employment.

 Unemployed (Labour Force Survey - LFS), registered unemployed and registered employed + public sector job creation programmes. Seasonally adjusted figures in thousands

The same level as one year ago

79 000 persons where unemployed in second quarter 2000, accounting for 3.3 per cent of the workforce. The unemployment was on top in the first quarter, but according to the seasonally adjusted figures the change took place already last autumn. The figures show that the unemployment rate at present is at about at the same level as one year ago.

Decline among young people

From second quarter 1999 to second quarter this year the unemployment has declined in age group 16-24. Among men aged 25-74 the unemployment increased last year. The unemployment decreased from 3.0 to 2.9 per cent among women and increased from 3.4 to 3.7 among men.

The number of long-term unemployed was almost unchanged last year. Long-term unemployed are those who at the time of the survey had been continuously unemployed for more than a half year. The rate declined from 16 to 15 per cent.

There were 66 000 underemployed in the second quarter, i.e. part-time employed seeking more work. This is 3 000 fewer than in the same quarter the previous year. As a percentage of part-time employed, this corresponds to 11.1.

Decline in man-weeks worked

Statistics Norway has estimated a decline of 39 000 man-weeks worked (2.1 per cent). The figures are uncertain, partly because of different placing of Easter in those two years, and partly because the percentage of people on holiday leave during part of the reference week may have differed in the two years.

This has resulted in a break in the time series for man-weeks worked, for overtime and for absence. The decline in man-weeks worked must be seen in relation to all the strikes in May this year.

Decline in use of overtime

About 21 per cent of all full-time employees worked overtime in second quarter 2000. Twenty-four per cent of the men worked overtime, against 15 per cent of full-time employed women. The use of overtime is equivalent to 60 000 man-years, or 4.6 per cent of all man-years performed by full-time employees. Corrected for Easter week this is 11 000 fewer than one year earlier. The overtime percentage declined from 25 to 21. The percentage of employees working overtime was highest in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas with 32 per cent, and lowest in the hotel and restaurant industry with 13 per cent. The decline in use of overtime may in some extent be related to all the strikes in May this year.

Fewer temporary employed

There were 204 000 temporary employed in second quarter this year, 16 000 less than in the same quarter last year. The rate of temporary employment was relatively highest in the hotel and restaurant industry, education and health and social services. Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries represented the greatest decline.

Growth in sickness absence

Around 91 000 employed people were temporarily absent due to sickness the entire survey week in the first quarter. The illness-related absence rate for women was 4,6 per cent and 3,4 per cent for men. Adjusted for the break in the time series, the sickness absence last year is estimated to 0.6 percentage-point increase for both men and women.

Seasonally adjusted figures

Quality tests show that the seasonally adjusted LFS unemployment figures are uncertain. The seasonal-adjustment method has problems identifying a seasonal pattern in this series of figures. The random results are relatively large compared to the seasonal component, hence one must keep in mind that the unemployment figures contain a particularly high degree of uncertainty. Statistics Norway plans to publish seasonally adjusted LFS figures based on the observed seasonal pattern after the readjustment in 1996.

Statistics are published quarterly.