This is an archived release.
Stable labour force participation
The number of employed persons increased by 16 000, or 0.7 per cent, from the first quarter 2000 to the first quarter 2001. This corresponds to the growth in the population aged 16-74. Unemployment decreased by 5 000 persons, from 3.9 to 3.7 per cent, according to the Labour Force Surveys (LFS).
The proportion of economically active teenagers has decreased last year. In the first quarter 2001 43 per cent of them participated in the labour force, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the first quarter 2000. Most of them had a job beside their education.
In total employment and unemployment only small changes occurred between the fourth quarter 2000 and the first quarter 2001, but there was an increase in man-weeks worked.
Compared with the first quarter 2000, there was a considerable increase in employment within business services and within health and social work. Manufacturing, agriculture and financial intermediation, on the other hand, showed a decline in employment.
Stable unemployment rate
A total of 87 000 persons were unemployed in the first quarter 2001, accounting for 3.7 per cent of the workforce, compared with 3.9 per cent the same quarter 2000. Unemployment has been a little reduced among men, but has remained unchanged among women.
The rate of long-term unemployment remained stable at 17 per cent last year. Long-term unemployed are those who have been continuously unemployed for more than a half year at the time of the survey.
There were 65 000 underemployed in the first quarter 2001, i.e. part-time employed seeking more work. As a percentage of part-time employed, this corresponds to 10.9 per cent, almost the same as in the first quarter last year.
Unemployment in EU and OECD
While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Norway decreased from 3.5 to 3.4 from November 2000 to February 2001, it remained stable at 8.0 per cent as an average in the EU. The rate in the OECD-countries total fell by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.2. In February the unemployment rate was 4.2 in USA (4.0 in November 2000), 4.7 in Denmark (4.8 in November) and 5.3 in Sweden (5.6 in November). In the Netherlands and in Luxembourg the unemployment rate was lower than in Norway, while the rate in Austria was approximately the same as in Norway.
Fewer temporary employed
There were 173 000 temporary employed in the first quarter 2001, 14 000 less than the same quarter last year. This corresponds to 8.3 per cent of all employees. The rate of temporary employment was highest in education, health and social work and in hotels and restaurants. Hotels and restaurants represented the greatest decline.
Uncertain 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 for 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.
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