More people work part-time
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants
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Labour force surveyQ4 2004



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More people work part-time

The number of part-time employees increased by 17 000 last year, and men accounted for the majority of the increase. The figures are taken from the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) carried out by Statistics Norway.

Seasonally adjusted figures: Minor labour market changes

Unemployment and employment stayed approximately unchanged from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2004, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the LFS. The changes for both unemployment and employment are inside the LFS error margin. Still, employment appears to follow an upward trend, while unemployment remains on a stable level.

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.

The number of underemployed, i.e. part-time employees who want to work more hours, increased from 90 000 to 97 000 from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the fourth quarter of 2004. This represents 15.6 per cent of all part-time employees and compares with 14.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The total number of full-time employees stayed approximately unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2004 compared with the same period in 2003. However, the figures reveal an increase of 10 000 in the number of full-time employees who work 32-36 hours per week and a corresponding decline in the number of full-time employees who work 45 hours or more per week. Men account for the majority of these changes, as there are no significant changes in female part-time and full-time figures.

The employment figures by industry reveal a 13 000 increase in employment in wholesale and retail trade from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the fourth quarter of 2004. In addition, employment rose by 9 000 and 8 000 in business activities and education. Real estate activities, agriculture, and to a certain extent, the manufacturing industry, experienced a fall in employment in this period. More detailed employment figures by occupation are presented in a separate article .

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

Unchanged labour force participation

Total labour force participation stayed approximately unchanged at 72.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the fourth quarter of 2004. The largest decline was found among women aged 16-19, while men in the same age group had the largest increase. The 2004 annual average figures show that the gap between male and female labour force participation is at its smallest ever (7.5 percentage points).

Unchanged unemployment

The number of unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2004 was 97 000, approximately unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2003. The total unemployment rate was 4.1 per cent, the rate for men 4.6 per cent and the rate for women 3.6 per cent.

The proportion of long-term unemployed increased from 25 to 26 per cent last year. Long-term unemployment is defined as unemployment that has lasted for at least six consecutive months.

Actual hours worked for the unemployed and underemployed amounted to 120 000 man-weeks (full-time work) in the fourth quarter of 2004, an increase of 5 000 from the corresponding quarter of 2003.

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

Small changes in international figures

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.4 per cent in November 2004, compared with 4.5 per cent in August. In the same period, unemployment stayed unchanged at 5.4 per cent in the USA. OECD and Eurostat figures for other countries are only available for October 2004. When compared to July, unemployment in the EU and OECD area stayed approximately unchanged at 8.0 and 6.8 per cent respectively. Also in Sweden, the rate stayed unchanged at 6.3 per cent, while unemployment fell from 8.9 to 8.7 per cent in Finland. In France and Germany unemployment stayed approximately unchanged at 9.5 and 9.9 per cent respectively.

19 000 more temporary employed

The number of temporary employees was 211 000 in the fourth quarter of 2004, an increase of 19 000 from the fourth quarter of 2003. Temporary employment was most common in health and social work, education, as well as in the primary industries. At the opposite end of the scale, transport and communication, manufacturing, in addition to financial intermediation and business activities are characterised by relatively few temporary employees.