Employment down in manufacturing
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Labour force surveyQ1 2004



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Employment down in manufacturing

Even though the total level of employment remained unchanged, the manufacturing figures for Q1 2004 fell by 18 000 from the year before. This is according to new figures from the Labour Force Survey.

Seasonally adjusted figures: Unemployment down

Unemployment went down by 6 000 from Q4 2003 to Q1 2004, while employment remained unchanged, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the LFS.

The seasonal adjustment method is a favourable method of revealing the current development in the labour market, and serves as an alternative to comparisons with the corresponding quarter in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted figures are presented in a separate article.

In addition to manufacturing, employment also declined in business activities. On the other hand, education and domestic trade showed an increase.

The number of male part-time employees went up by 10 000, while the male full-time figure declined by 14 000 from Q1 last year. Female full- and part-time employment did not show any change from last year.

9.2 per cent temporary employment

191 000 people were in temporary employment in Q1 2004, approximately the same level as in the same quarter of 2003. Temporary employment was most common in education, hotels and restaurants, in addition to health and social work. At the opposite end we find transport and communication, manufacturing, and construction.

Workforce, employed and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures in 1 000

Labour force participation down

Total labour force participation went down from 72.6 to 71.9 per cent from Q1 2003 to Q1 2004. The decline was the same for men and women, and the age groups 16-19 and 55-59 years were most strongly affected by the decline. Not since 1997 has total labour force participation been lower in Q1.

Small changes in unemployment

The number of unemployed people in Q1 2004 was 107 000, approximately unchanged from Q1 2003. The unemployed constituted 4.5 per cent of the working force, compared with 4.4 per cent one year earlier. Unemployment was highest among men - at 5.1 per cent compared to 3.8 per cent for women. A slight increase occurred from Q1 2003 for men aged 25-54, while the opposite was the case regarding women aged 16-24.

The proportion of long-term unemployed has increased from 17 to 21 per cent over the past year. Long-term unemployment is defined as having been out of work for six consecutive months and being out of work at the time of interview. The average period of unemployment increased from 17.3 weeks in Q1 2003 to 18.0 weeks in Q1 2004.

Unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed and registered employed + public sector job creation programmes. Seasonally adjusted figures in 1 000

Unemployment up in Sweden

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.3 per cent in February 2004, compared with 4.6 per cent in November 2003. EU unemployment remained flat at 8.0 per cent, while the unemployment rate in OECD countries fell from 7.0 to 6.9 per cent. The USA saw unemployment fall by 0.3 percentage points to 5.6 per cent from November to February, while Sweden experienced unemployment growth from 6.0 to 6.4 per cent. In Finland unemployment remained unchanged at 8.9 per cent. This was more or less the case also in Germany and France, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat .

More under-employment

The number of under-employed, i.e. part-time employees seeking more work, went up from 82 000 to 97 000 people from Q1 2003 to Q1 2004. This represents 15.6 per cent of all part-time employees, compared to 13.4 per cent in Q1 2003. Men were especially affected by the increase. More than half of the under-employed were seeking full-time work.

The work hours of the unemployed and under-employed in Q1 2004 amounted to 124 000 man-weeks (full-time work), an increase of 8 000 from the corresponding quarter in 2003.