Employment on the rise
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 2004



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Employment on the rise

Employment increased by 5 000 from May to August, and confirms the trend that has been evident since the summer of last year. All figures are adjusted for seasonal variations.

Following a long period of decline, employment started to increase in the summer of 2003. In August (the July-September period) this year the number of employed increased by 5 000 from May (April-June), which is inside the error margin of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Still, employment appears to be in an upward trend. Since July last year, the number of employees has increased by 17 000.

Labour force, employees and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2004

Unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed and registered unemployed plus government measures to promote employment. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2004

The latest figure for August shows that unemployment remained unchanged from May. Compared with August last year, unemployment has only shown a minor decline, and so the figures appear to be on a stable level. Seasonally adjusted figures of registered unemployment at job centres plus government measures to promote employment have remained more or less unchanged over the last year and approximately on level with the number of unemployed according to the LFS. Still, there was a small decline from May to August.

Unemployment down in the USA and in Sweden

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.5 per cent in August 2004, compared with 4.6 per cent in May. In the same period, unemployment in the EU and OECD area stayed unchanged at 8.1 and 6.9 per cent respectively. In August, unemployment stood at 5.4 per cent in the USA, down 0.2 percentage points from May. Sweden saw unemployment fall from 6.6 to 6.2 per cent, while the figure for Finland remained unchanged at 9.0 per cent. In France and Germany unemployment stayed approximately unchanged at 9.6 and 9.9 per cent respectively, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat .

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in selected countries. Per cent of the labour force. August 2004

Man-weeks worked have shown a downward trend between June 1998 and May 2003. Since then, however, there have been signs of an increasing trend in these figures. From May to August this year man-weeks worked went down by 13 000, which is still inside the LFS error margin.

Uncertain figures

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 treated with caution.

Employment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2004

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2004

The purpose of adjusting for seasonal variations is to describe the development over the last year and provide figures of change between the last two three-month periods, corrected for normal seasonal variations. In order to reduce uncertainty, the published series are three-month moving averages of the seasonally adjusted figures. For instance, the figures for August represent the average of the estimates for July, August and September.