No worsening in last quarter
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings
akumnd, Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figures, LFS, labour market, employees, unemployed, economically active, man-weeks worked, labour forceUnemployment , Employment , Labour market and earnings

Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figuresAugust 2003



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No worsening in last quarter

The number of unemployed people remained unchanged from the second to the third quarter 2003. The figures are adjusted for seasonal variations.

Unemployed (Labour Force Survey - LFS), registered unemployed and registered unemployed plus government measures to promote employment. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-months moving average in 1000. 1989-2003

Labour force, employed persons and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-months moving average in 1000. 1989-2003

Norwegian unemployment has gradually increased since the autumn 1999, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the LFS. From the second to the third quarter 2003, total unemployment increased slightly by 1,000 people, which is inside the error margins. In per cent of the labour force the unemployment stayed unchanged. Seasonally adjusted figures of registered unemployed persons at the Employment Offices showed a similar development over the same period.

After a period of strong growth, the employment has just shown a slight increase from 1999, and in 2002 the number of employed people started to fall. From the second to the third quarter 2003, the employment increased by 9,000, which is within the margin of errors.

Small changes in unemployment also in the EU and OECD

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Norway stayed at 4.6 per cent both in May and August 2003. In the same period the unemployment stayed unchanged at 8.0 per cent as an average in the EU member countries. The unemployment rate in the OECD-countries as a whole went down from 7.2 to 7.1 per cent. Both in May and August 2003 the unemployment rate amounted to 6.1 per cent in the USA. The unemployment rate in Sweden increased from 5.4 per cent in May to 5.5 per cent in August 2003, while it went down from 9.2 to 9.0 per cent in Finland. In the same period, unemployment remained unchanged in France and Germany. This is according to figures from OECD and Eurostat .

Seasonal adjusted unemployment in selected countries. Per cent of the labour force. August 2003

Man-weeks worked have shown a decreasing trend since the autumn 1999. The last 3 month period man-weeks worked decreased by only 1 000, which is inside the margin of errors.


Quality tests show that the seasonally adjusted LFS unemployment figures are uncertain. The seasonal-adjustment method has problems identifying a stable seasonal pattern for this series. The random component is relatively large compared with the seasonal component. The figures should therefore be used with caution.

The purpose of adjusting for seasonal variations is to describe the development during the last year and to give figures for change between the last two 3-month periods, cleared for normal seasonal variations. In order to reduce uncertainty, the presented series are three months moving averages of the seasonally adjusted figures. For instance the figures for August is the average of the estimates from July, August and September.