Stable 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 figuresMarch 2010



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Stable labour market

Both employment and unemployment kept stable from December 2009 to March 2010. The unemployment rate was 3.5 per cent of the labour force in March.

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

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

Adjusted for seasonal variations, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows that unemployment rose by 4 000 people from December (average November -January) to March (average February-April). This is within the error margin in the LFS.

In comparison, seasonally-adjusted figures for those registered unemployed with the Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV) rose by 3 000. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Small changes in employment

There were only minor changes in employment from December 2009 to March 2010. Employment decreased by 2 000 persons. This is within the error margin of the LFS.

The labour force is the sum of employed and unemployed between 16-74 years of age. From December to March the employment fell by 2 000, while there was an increase in unemployment of 4 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 2 000.

The coherence between the concepts

Unemployed + Employed = Labour force

Labour force + Outside the labour force = Population

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

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

Unemployment still rising in Europe

The unemployment rate in EU-15 was 9.6 per cent in February, up 0.2 percentage points from December. In France, unemployment rose from 9.8 to 10.1 per cent. USA saw a decrease of 0.3 per cent from December 2009 to March 2010, ending at 9.7 per cent. All figures refer to seasonally-adjusted data from Eurostat .

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 .

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

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 .