Continued decrease in 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 2011



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Continued decrease in unemployment

A total of 3.1 per cent of the labour force was unemployed in February 2011; a decrease of 0.5 percentage points since November 2010.

Adjusted for seasonal variations, the Labour force survey (LFS) shows that the number of unemployed persons decreased by 12 000 persons from November 2010 (average October-December) to February 2011 (average January-March). The decrease was strongest among persons within the age group 25-74 years.

The unemployment rates for December 2010 (average November-January) and January 2011 (average December-February) have both been revised up 0.1 percentage point, ending at 3.4 and 3.3 per cent respectively.

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average. 1999-2011. In per cent of the labour force.

Employment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2011

In comparison, seasonally-adjusted figures for those registered unemployed with the Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV) fell by about 6 000. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Small changes in employment

Adjusted for seasonal variations, the number of employed persons increased by 8 000 from November to February. The decrease is within the error margin of the LFS, but is at the same time in line with long-term growth within employment in the latter year. Because of an even larger increase in the population rate, there is nevertheless a decrease in the employment rate.

The labour force is the total of employed and unemployed between 16-74 years of age. From November to February, employment increased by 8 000 and unemployment was reduced by 12 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 4 000 persons.

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. 1997-2011

Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in selected countries, 2004-2011. Percentage of the labour force

Decrease in unemployment in USA and Europe

Between November 2010 and February 2011, the USA saw a decrease in unemployment of 0.9 percentage points, with the unemployment rate in February ending at 8.9 per cent. In the same period, Germany had a decrease of 0.3 per cent, ending at 6.3 per cent. In Sweden the unemployment rate was reduced by 0.2 percentage points from November to February. A total of 7.6 per cent of the labour force in Sweden was without a job in February. 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 . Interviews that arrive late are included in the LFS the following month. This applies for the first two months of every quarter.