This is an archived release.
Higher labour force participation
From the fourth quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2007, the labour force participation rate increased by 1.5 percentage points for the population aged 15-74. The labour force participation rate rose for all age groups except for those above 66 years.
Seasonally adjusted figures: Continued growth in employment
Adjusted for seasonal variations, employment increased from the third to the fourth quarter of 2007, while unemployment was unchanged.
Adjustments for seasonal variations allow for the analysis of current developments in the labour market, and serve as an alternative to comparisons with the corresponding quarter in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted figures are presented in a separate article .
The labour force (the sum of employment and unemployment) increased by 88 000 people from the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2007. In the same period, the working-age population (aged 15-74) rose by 54 000. The labour force participation rate (the labour force as a percentage of the working-age population) was 73.2 per cent compared to 71.7 per cent in the same quarter last year. All age groups except those above 66 years of age had a higher labour force participation rate. The increase in the labour force participation rate for people aged 55-66 indicates that more people stay in employment for longer. The labour force participation rate for women rose by 1.9 percentage points, which is in line with a longer trend. For men, the rise in the labour force participation rate of 1.0 percentage point is a shift from the decline that has been observed over the last years.
The strong growth comes from a general increase in the labour force participation rate and immigration, especially from the new EU countries in Eastern Europe. The latter is due to increased immigration in general and to the fact that a larger share of the immigrants are allowed to stay for more than six months, which means that they are included in the LFS from the first day of stay. Statistics Norway publishes figures for employees on short-term stay in the fourth quarter of each year. These statistics use different public registers and the figures for the fourth quarter of 2007 will be published in June 2008.
Growth in several industries
From the fourth quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2007, employment rose by 95 000 people. Employment increased by 8 000, or 4.5 per cent, in construction. Financial intermediation, health and social work and education also experienced increased employment. Some of the growth in education was caused by registrations of people in this industry instead of in the health and social work industry.
Higher average settled working hours for women
Full-time employment was up by 75 000, and 44 000 were women. Average settled working hours for men were 37.2 hours per week, compared with 30.9 hours for women. This is a decrease of 0.3 hours per week for men, and an increase of 0.4 hours per week for women.
Lower share on temporary contracts in health and social work
In health and social work 12.4 percent were on temporary contracts in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to 15.2 percent the same quarter in 2006. The share on temporary contracts increased in construction, financial intermediation and retail trade. In total, 207 000 were on temporary contracts in the fourth quarter of 2007, which is more or less the same as in the fourth quarter of 2006.
According to the LFS, the number of unemployed fell by 6 000 from the fourth quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2007. The unemployment rate stood at 2.1 per cent. The decline took place in the age group 25-54 years. The number of registered unemployed with the Labour and Welfare Organisation showed a decline of 12 000 over the same period. While the number of registered unemployed with NAV has declined the whole year, the number of unemployed in the LFS has been stable since the summer of 2007 till the end of the year. The LFS also showed a decrease in registered unemployed with NAV, but it also showed an increase in unemployed persons not found in the NAV register. Most of these persons are young people in education.
The proportion of long-term unemployed - defined as persons who have been unemployed for at least six consecutive months - was 26 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2007, down 6 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2006.
The number of underemployed unchanged
The figures for underemployment in 2006 and 2007 are incorrect. See the supplementary article "Incorrect figures for underemployment" for more information. All figures related to underemployment in table 16 are corrected 10 March 2008. The text below contain wrong numbers.
Underemployment is employees with part-time as settled working hours who want to work more hours. The number of underemployed was 93 000 in the fourth quarter of 2007, about the same as in the fourth quarter of 2006. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the underemployed represented about 14 per cent of all part-time employees.
When accounting for the fact that many unemployed and most underemployed are looking for less than full-time work, these two groups together wanted work equivalent to a total of 78 000 full-time positions in the fourth quarter of 2007 - 6 000 less than in the fourth quarter of 2006.
- Table 1. Population aged 15-74 in the labour force, man-weeks worked, unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed persons and persons employed by government measures (Aetat). 1000 and per cent
- Table 2. Population aged 15-74 år in the labour force, employed persons and unemployed persons by sex (LFS). 1000 and per cent
- Table 3. Persons in the labour force and employed persons aged 15-74 by age and sex (LFS). 1 000 and per cent
- Table 4. Population aged 15-74, employed persons by contractual/usual working hours per week and unemployed persons by age and sex (LFS). 1000
- Table 5. Persons in the labour force aged 15-74 by age and sex. 1000 and as per cent of all in each group
- Table 6. Employed persons aged 15-74, by sex and settled/usual working hours pr week (LFS). 1 000
- Table 7. Population aged 15-74, by main activity, part-time employment and age (LFS). 1 000
- Table 8. Employed persons aged 15-74 by major industry division (LFS). 1000
- Table 9. Number of man-hours worked per week, by industry division (LFS). 1 000
- Table 10. Employed persons aged 15-74, total, and employed persons at work, by status and sex. Number of man-weeks worked 1 and actual working hours per week (LFS)
- Table 11. Employed persons aged 15-74 and absence from work(1) during the whole reference week by reason for absence and sex (LFS). 1000 and per cent
- Table 12. Employees aged 15-74 with temporary jobs, by major industry division (LFS). 1000 and as per cent of all employees
- Table 13. Unemployed persons aged 15-74 by sex and age (LFS). 1000 and per cent
- Table 14. Unemployed persons aged 15-74 by duration of job search (LFS). 1000 and per cent
- Table 15. Unemployed persons aged 15-74, by main activity (LFS). 1 000
- Table 16. Unemployed and underemployed persons aged 15-74, by sex and desired working hours per week. Number of man-weeks (37.5 hours) supplied (LFS) 1 000. See footnote
- Table 17 This table is omitted. More information is presented in a separate article
- Table 18. Persons in the labour force aged 15-74, by sex and region (LFS). 1 000 and in per cent of total
- Table 19. Employed persons aged 15-74, by sex and region (LFS). 1 000
- Table 20. Employed persons aged 15-74, by sex and regions (LFS) as per cent of all inn each group
- Table 21 Employed persons, by some major industry division and region (LFS). 1997-2007. 1 000
(1) All figures related to underemployed persons are corrected 10 March 2008.
Due to an error in the production of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) the decline in underemployment from the fourth quarter of 2005 onwards is strongly underestimated. The error is the result of a major revision of the LFS at the turn of the year 2005/2006.
According to previously published figures, the number of underemployed was 97 000 in the fourth quarter of 2005 and 93 000 in the fourth quarter of 2007. A preliminary estimate of a new series of figures shows that the number of underemployed fell markedly throughout 2006 to around 60 000 in the fourth quarter of 2006 and then remained stable throughout 2007, so that the number of underemployed was around 60 000 in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Underemployment is defined as part-time employees who have tried to get more work and who are in a position to start working more within a month.
The main reason for the correction of the number of underemployed is an error in the estimation that was used to account for the fact that not all respondents in the LFS sample are asked about underemployment. This has been corrected in the new series of figures. A final correction will not be available until the LFS has been carried out using a revised questionnaire. The revised questionnaire will be used in the collection of data for the second quarter, which will be published at the end of July.
Statistics Norway's director general, Øystein Olsen, says that the error in the LFS is unfortunate. The new figures show a considerably lower level of underemployed than what has previously been assumed. The corrected figures mean that the pressure in the labour market is higher than previous figures indicated.