Continued increase in employment
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 figuresSeptember 2004



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Continued increase in employment

Employment increased by 9 000 from June to September, and still seems to be rising. All figures are adjusted for seasonal variations.

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

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

Following a long period of decline, employment started to increase in the summer of 2003. Over the period towards September (the August-October period) this year the total increase amounted to 21 000 people. When compared to June (May-July) this year, the number of employees went up by 9 000, which is inside the error margin of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Employment still appears to be in an upward trend, and is beginning to close in on the record level measured in the spring of 2002.

The latest figure for September shows that unemployment went down by 2 000 from June, which is still inside the error margin of the LFS. Compared with September 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 also remained more or less unchanged over the last year.

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

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

Unemployment up in Sweden

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.4 per cent in September 2004, compared with 4.5 per cent in June. In the same period, unemployment in the EU and OECD area stayed approximately unchanged at 8.0 and 6.8 per cent respectively. In September, unemployment stood at 5.4 per cent in the USA, down 0.2 percentage points from June. Sweden saw unemployment rise from 6.5 to 6.8 per cent, while the figure for Finland went down from 8.9 to 8.4 per cent. In Denmark the rate was 5.3 per cent, about the same as in June. 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 .

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 June to September this year man-weeks worked went down by 12 000, which is still inside the LFS error margin.

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

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.

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 September represent the average of the estimates for August, September and October.