Increasing unemployment
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 figuresFebruary 2010



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Increasing unemployment

In February, the unemployed constituted 3.5 per cent of the labour force. This is an increase of 0.2 per cent from November. Employment remained stable.

Employment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2010

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures, three-month moving average in per cent. 1999-2010

According to the Labour Force Survey, (LFS) unemployment rose by 5 000 people from November (as measured by the average of the months from October to December) to February (as measured by the average of the months from January to March). The largest increase was within the age group 25-74.

In comparison, seasonally-adjusted figures for those registered unemployed with the Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV), and persons on government initiatives to promote employment, rose by about 1 000 from November to February. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

The unemployment rates for December 2009 (as measured by the average of the months from November to January) and January 2010 (as measured by the average of the months from December to February) have both been revised up by 0.1 percentage point, from 3.3 to 3.4 per cent.

Stable employment

There were only minor changes in employment from November 2009 to February 2010. Employment increased by 4 000 persons. This is within the error margin of the LFS.

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2010

Unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed and registered unemployed plus government initiatives to promote employment. Seasonally-adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1997-2010

The labour force is the sum of employed and unemployed between 16-74 years of age. From November to February the employment rose by 4 000, while there was an increase in unemployment of 5 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 9 000.

The coherence between the concepts

Unemployed + Employed = Labour force

Labour force + Outside the labour force = Population

Unemployment still rising in Europe

The unemployment rate in EU-15 was 9.5 per cent in February; this is up 0.1 percentage points from November. In Sweden, unemployment rose by 0.3 percentage points, ending at 9.0 per cent of the labour force in February. Denmark also saw an increase of 0.3 percentage points, and the unemployment rate in Denmark is now 7.5 per cent. For the second month in a row, the USA has seen a decrease in unemployment; 9.7 per cent of the labour force was unemployed in February. This is down 0.3 percentage points from November. All figures refer to seasonally-adjusted data from Eurostat .

Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in selected countries, 2004-2010. Percentage of the labour force

Employment and unemployment figures include permanent residents

The LFS only includes persons who are registered as residents in the population register. Persons working in Norway who are not registered as permanent residents or who are planning to stay for less than six months are not included in the employment figure in the LFS. If these people lose their job it does not count as a fall in employment or a rise in unemployment. In national accounts figures (NR), employed non-residents are included in the employment figure as long as they work in an establishment in Norway. If employment decreases in this group it will count as a fall in employment in NR. Statistics Norway publishes separate figures for all registered non-residents once a year. See short-term immigrants .

Uncertain figures

The purpose of making seasonal adjustments is to describe the development over the last year, corrected for seasonal variations. In order to reduce uncertainty, the published series are three-month moving averages of the seasonally-adjusted figures. However, uncertainty means that sampling errors must be considered when interpreting the figures from the LFS. We normally compare the latest non-overlapping three-month periods. An overview of sampling errors in the LFS can be found in “ About the statistics ”, chapter 5 section 3.

Quarterly LFS figures, not seasonally adjusted, are presented in a separate article .


The complete time series is re-estimated each month, and this may cause some adjustments of previously published figures. See Revisions for more information .