Stable unemployment
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings
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Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figuresSeptember 2005



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Stable unemployment

Both unemployment and employment showed minor changes from the May-July to the August-October period. The figures presented in this article are adjusted for seasonal variations.

Labour force, employees and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2005

Unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed and registered unemployed plus government measures to promote employment. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2005

Following the growth in unemployment from 2004 to the beginning of 2005, the figures have been stable in the current period, when considering the LFS error margin. Seasonally adjusted figures of registered unemployment at job centres show a decline of 2 000 people in the same period (from the May-July to the August-October period).

The number of employed people increased by 4 000 in the last three-month period, according to the LFS. This is, however, inside the LFS error margin. Still, employment appears to be following an upward trend that has been seen since the summer of 2003.

German unemployment down

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.7 per cent in September, unchanged from June. The rate in the EU15 area fell from 7.9 to 7.7 per cent, while the OECD area figure stayed unchanged at 6.5 per cent. In the same period, the unemployment rate increased from 5.0 to 5.1 per cent in the USA. In Denmark, the rate fell from 4.9 to 4.7 per cent, while the Finland figure stayed unchanged at 8.3 per cent. From June to September, the unemployment rate fell from 9.5 to 8.7 per cent in Germany, and from 9.6 to 9.4 per cent in France, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat .

Employment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2005

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in selected countries. Per cent of the labour force. September 2005

From June (the May-July period) to September (August-October), man-weeks worked fell by 11 000, but this is inside the LFS error margin. The recent development in the man-weeks worked figure must be seen in connection with an unusual strong increase in the number of people on vacation leave in the summer months, i.e. June, July and August, this year compared with the two previous years. This was particularly the case for July and August. As a result, the seasonal-adjustment method is not fully able to measure the trend in man-weeks worked at the moment.

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.

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2005

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.