Decreased labour force participation
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Labour force surveyQ3 2013



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Decreased labour force participation

The labour force participation in the 3rd quarter of 2013 was at the same level as in the 3rd quarter of 2012, but 0.9 percentage points lower than in the 3rd quarter of 2006. The decrease from 2006 can largely be explained by the demographical changes in the population, namely an ageing population.

Population aged 15-74, by labour force status and sex
3rd quarter 20133rd quarter 2012 - 3rd quarter 2013
Absolute numbersPer centChange in absolute numbersChange in percentage points
Labour force
Both sexes2 721 00071.536 000-0.1
Males1 438 00074.217 000-0.2
Females1 283 00068.819 0000.1
Employed persons
Both sexes2 626 00069.024 000-0.4
Males1 390 00071.714 000-0.3
Females1 236 00066.310 000-0.4
Both sexes95 0003.513 0000.4
Males49 0003.44 0000.2
Females47 0003.69 0000.6
Figure 1. Persons (15-74 years) in the labour force. In per cent of the population (15-74 years)

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows a decrease in labour force participation among persons aged 15-74 years from 72.4 per cent in the 3rd quarter of 2006 to 71.5 per cent in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Calculations by Statistics Norway show that this decrease is mainly due to the relatively large increase in persons aged 55-66 years. Even though the labour force participation in this age group has increased by 3.0 percentage points from 2006, it is still more than 20 percentage points lower than among persons aged 40-54 years.

Gender gap lessens

In the 3rd quarter of 2006, the labour force participation among women was 7.2 percentage points lower than among men. This difference was reduced to 5.4 percentage points in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Similar decreases happened in all age groups except the very youngest and oldest – i.e. those aged 15-19 years and 67-74 years. Among the youngest, women had a higher labour force participation rate than men in the 3rd quarter of 2006 and to a somewhat lesser degree in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Among those aged 67-74 years, men had a higher labour force participation rate than women in both the 3rd quarter of 2006 and the 3rd quarter of 2013 – and the gender gap widened during this period.

24 000 more employed last year

The LFS shows an increase of 24 000 employed persons from the 3rd quarter of 2012 to the same quarter of 2013. Since the population growth during this period was higher than the growth in employment, the employment rate went down 0.4 percentage points. In the 3rd quarter of 2013, the share of employed persons corresponded to 69.0 per cent of the population aged 15-74 years. The increase in employed persons was mainly among those in full-time employment – and applied to both women and men.

95 000 unemployed

The share of unemployed persons corresponded to 3.5 per cent of the labour force in the 3rd quarter of 2013, up 0.4 percentage points from the same quarter of 2012. The largest increase was among women, primarily in the 25-54 age groups. Among the 95 000 unemployed, 28 per cent were long-term unemployed. The long-term unemployed are persons who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

A total of 57 000 persons were underemployed in the 3rd quarter of 2013, down 9 000 from the same quarter the previous year. The underemployed are part-time employees who have tried to find more work. The majority of underemployed persons are women. This must be seen in relation to the prevalence of part-time employment among women. The time the underemployed wanted to work extra in the 3rd quarter of 2013 corresponded to 20 000 full-time jobs. Adding the time that the unemployed wanted to work that quarter, the work wanted by these two groups corresponds to 103 000 full-time jobs – 7 000 more than the previous year.