Stable employment and 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 figuresMay 2010



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Stable employment and unemployment

The unemployment rate was 3.6 per cent of the labour force in May. The increase from 3.5 per cent in February is within the margin of error.

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

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

Adjusted for seasonal variations, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows that unemployment rose by 4 000 people, or 0.1 percentage point, from February (average January - March) to May (average April - June). The increase is within the margin of error in the LFS.

In comparison, seasonally-adjusted figures for those registered unemployed with the Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV) included government initiatives to promote employment fell by about 3 000. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

The unemployment rates for April (as measured by the average of the months from March to May) have been revised down by 0.1 percentage point, from 3.7 to 3.6 per cent.

Stable employment

The employment kept stable from February to May. Adjusted for seasonal variations, there was an increase in employment of 5 000 persons. This is within the margin of error of the LFS.

The labour force is the total of employed and unemployed between 16-74 years of age. From February to May the employment rose by 5 000 and the unemployment rose by 4 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 9 000 people.

The coherence between the concepts

Unemployed + Employed = Labour force

Labour force + Outside the labour force = Population

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

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average. 1999-2010. In per cent of the labour force.

Unemployment in EU and USA unchanged

From February to May, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 per cent in EU-15 and unchanged at 9.7 in USA. In Germany, unemployment fell from 7.4 to 7.0 per cent, while it was down by 0.3 percentage points in Denmark. 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 .

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 .