61 000 more employed
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Labour force surveyQ2 2006



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All figures related to unemployment are corrected from what was published 09.08.2006 10:00.

61 000 more employed

The number of employees increased by 61 000 from Q2 2005 to Q2 2006. Half of this was part-time workers. The figures are taken from the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) carried out by Statistics Norway.

Error in unemployment figures for 2006

At the time of the transition to a new LFS questionnaire in January 2006, an error occurred in the data file. Therefore, people who had already accepted a job offer, where the job start was not due until later, have wrongly been defined as outside the labour force, instead of unemployed.

The correct number of unemployed for the second quarter of 2006 is 98 000 (and not 88 000), while the figure for the first quarter of 2006 is 95 000 (and not 92 000). The number of people outside the labour force is revised downwards by the same amount. The error correction has also led to following consequences for the figures for the second quarter of 2006:

  • The unemployment rate is 4.0 per cent, and not 3.6 per cent.
  • The reduction in unemployment from the second quarter of 2005 is 18 000, and not 28 000. The decline has now been measured to be stronger for men, compared to women (original figures showed approximately equally strong reduction).
  • Labour force participation now showes an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the second quarter of 2005 (original figures showed no significant change).

The rise in part-time employment came particularly among women working 30-36 hours per week. The industries with the strongest increase were financial intermediation and business activities, in addition to health and social work. This was the case also in the first quarter. In total, the growth in the two industry divisions amounted to 40 000 people from the second quarter of 2005 to the second quarter of 2006.

Lower labour force participation among the youngest

Total labour force participation rose by 0.4 percentage points from the second quarter of 2005 to the second quarter of 2006. Especially women experienced an increase. Apart from people under 20 years, there was growth in all age groups. The decline for those under 20 years is due to a reduction in the number of unemployed in this age group.

Unemployment down 18 000

The number of unemployed people in the second quarter of 2006 went down by 18 000 from the second quarter of 2005. The strongest decline was found amongst men, relatively speaking. In addition, there was decline in all age groups. Both the male and female (and total) unemployment rate amounted to 4.0 per cent.

The proportion of long-term unemployed was 31 per cent in the second quarter of 2006, up 6 percentage points from the second quarter of 2005. Long-term unemployment is defined as unemployment that has lasted for at least six consecutive months.

Unemployment down also internationally

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 3.8 per cent in May 2006, compared with 4.0 per cent in February. The rate in the EU15 area fell from 7.6 to 7.4 per cent, and in the OECD area from 6.3 to 6.1 per cent. In the same period, unemployment went down from 4.8 to 4.6 per cent in the USA. From February to May, unemployment fell from 4.3 to 3.9 per cent in Denmark, from 8.0 to 7.6 per cent in Finland, from 9.1 to 8.8 per cent in France, and from 8.9 to 8.3 per cent in Germany, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat.

16 000 more temporary employed

16 000 more were temporary employed in the second quarter of 2006, when compared to the second quarter of 2005. Thus, the temporary employees represented 10.2 per cent of all employees, up 0.6 percentage points. While construction showed decline in the share of temporary employment, there were with few exceptions increase in all other industry divisions. Especially health and social work showed significant growth (also the case in the first quarter of 2006). Temporary employment was most common within hotels and restaurants (17 per cent of all employees), health and social work (16 per cent), and education (15 per cent). At the opposite end of the scale, manufacturing and construction are characterised by relatively few temporary employees (6 per cent).

16 000 more underemployed

The number of underemployed, i.e. part-time employees who want to work more hours, was 113 000 in the second quarter of 2006, up 16 000 from the second quarter of 2005. The underemployed represent 17.5 per cent of all part-time employees, compared with 15.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2005.

Actual hours worked for the unemployed and underemployed amounted to 125 000 man-weeks (full-time work) in the second quarter of 2006 – 11 000 less than in the second quarter 2005.

Changes in the LFS from 2006

With effect from January 2006, some improvements have been made in the Norwegian LFS. This makes the employment and unemployment figures more comparable with figures from the EU-countries. In addition, actual working hours will be measured more accurately. Therefore, the changes have lead to a level shift in the LFS figures. Much of the shift can be adjusted for in the figures, and therefore, we have made two sets of figures for the second quarter of 2006 in the various tables. In the text above, the figure changes (from the same quarter last year) refer to the set containing the figures according to the LFS prior to the changes. For more details on the LFS, the seasonal adjustment method and the changes in the LFS, you can click on the links at the left side of this page.



(1) The figures for underemployment in 2006 are incorrect.