Minor changes in the labour market
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 figuresNovember 2004



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Minor changes in the labour market

The number of employees in November 2004 confirms an upward trend, while unemployment remained on a stable level. All figures are adjusted for seasonal variations.

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

Following a period of decline from the spring of 2002, employment started to increase in the summer of 2003. Over the period towards November (the October-December period) 2004, the total increase amounted to 23 000 people. When compared to August (July-September) 2004, the number of employees rose by 5 000, which is inside the error margin of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Employment still appears to be in an upward trend.

The latest figure for November shows no change in unemployment from the previous month. Compared with November 2003, there has only been 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 shown a small decline over the last year (November 2003 - November 2004).

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in selected countries. Per cent of the labour force. October/November 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

Small changes in international figures

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.4 per cent in November 2004, compared with 4.5 per cent in August. In the same period, unemployment stayed unchanged at 5.4 per cent in the USA. OECD and Eurostat figures for other countries are only available for October 2004. When compared to July, unemployment in the EU and OECD area stayed approximately unchanged at 8.0 and 6.8 per cent respectively. In Sweden, the rate stayed unchanged at 6.3 per cent, while the figure for Finland fell from 8.9 to 8.7 per cent. In France and Germany unemployment stayed approximately unchanged at 9.5 and 9.9 per cent respectively.

Man-weeks worked showed a downward trend between June 1998 and May 2003. Since then, the figures have been relatively stable. From August to November 2004, man-weeks worked went up by 20 000, which is outside the LFS error margin. However, all or some of the increase is attributable to the small number of days off in connection with the Christmas holidays, which affects the November figure (the October-December period).

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

Employment (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 November represent the average of the estimates for October, November and December.