More employed – mostly part-time workers
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Labour force surveyQ3 2006



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More employed – mostly part-time workers

The number of employees increased by 69 000 from Q3 2005 to Q3 2006. Of these, 46 000 of these were part-time workers. The figures are taken from the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) carried out by Statistics Norway.

Seasonally adjusted figures: Unemployment still falling

Unemployment fell from the second to the third quarter of 2006, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the LFS. The increase in the number of employees was approximately on level with the LFS error margin, but consistent with the upward trend since the summer of 2005.

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 female part-time workers increased by 36 000, while the number of part-time-working men went up by 10 000. Both male and female labour force participation stayed approximately unchanged from the third quarter of 2005 to the same quarter of 2006. This is due to population growth (age group 15-74 years) of approximately the same size as the labour force increase. Labour force participation rose among the oldest, especially among people aged 67-74 years (due to increased employment).

For the fifth quarter in a row, financial intermediation and business activities showed the strongest employment growth. The increase from the third quarter of 2005 to the third quarter of 2006 amounted to 38 000 people. Also within construction, there were some increase in the same period (+9 000 people).

In Oslo and Akershus, employment rose by 24 000 people in total, while the western counties (including Rogaland) showed an increase of 30 000 people, from the third quarter of 2005 to the third quarter of 2006.

Unemployment down 35 000

The number of unemployed people in the third quarter of 2006 went down by 35 000 from the same quarter of 2005. The decline was strongest for men. In addition, there was decline in all age groups. The total unemployment rate was 3.4 per cent, the rate for men 3.3 per cent and the rate for women 3.5 per cent.

The proportion of long-term unemployed was 31 per cent in the third quarter of 2006, up 9 percentage points from the third quarter of 2005. Long-term unemployment is defined as unemployment that has lasted for at least six consecutive months.

Unemployment also down in Denmark

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 3.3 per cent in August 2006, compared with 3.8 per cent in May. The rates for the EU15- and OECD-area stayed unchanged at 7.4 and 6.1 per cent respectively. In the same period, unemployment rose from 4.6 to 4.7 per cent in the USA. From May to August, the rate fell from 4.1 to 3.7 per cent in Denmark. There was an increase from 7.7 to 7.8 per cent in Finland and from 8.4 to 8.5 per cent in Germany, while unemployment went down from 9.1 to 8.8 per cent in France, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat .

Unchanged number of temporary employed

235 000 people were temporary employed in the third quarter of 2006, approximately unchanged from the third quarter of 2005. Thus, the temporary employees represented 10.8 per cent of all employees, unchanged from the third quarter of 2005. Temporary employment was most common within health and social work, hotels and restaurants, and the primary industries, with 17 per cent of all employees respectively. At the opposite end of the scale, manufacturing (6 per cent of all employees) and construction (8 per cent) are characterised by relatively few temporary employees.

19 000 more underemployed

The number of underemployed, i.e. part-time employees who want to work more hours, was 108 000 in the third quarter of 2006, up 19 000 people from the third quarter of 2005. The underemployed represent 16.8 per cent of all part-time employees, up 1.8 percentage points from the third quarter of 2005.

Actual hours worked for the unemployed and underemployed amounted to 110 000 man-weeks (full-time work) in the third quarter of 2006 – 21 000 less than in the third 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 third 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. More information is available here .