Continued increase in employment
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 2012



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Continued increase in employment

Employment increased by 23 000 persons from November 2011 to February 2012, according to the Labour force survey (LFS). Unemployment was 3.2 per cent in February.

Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in selected countries, 2006-2012. 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. 2006-2012

Adjusted for seasonal variations, there were 23 000 more employed persons in February 2012 than in November 2011. Even though the population increased during the same period of time, the increase in employed persons also resulted in an increase in the employment rate. The employment rate is employed persons as a percentage of the population.

The seasonally-adjusted figures used to cover persons aged 16-74, but the age span has now been changed to 15-74. For more information on these changes, see the relevant text box.

The labour force is the total of employed and unemployed persons between 15-74 years of age. From November 2011 to February 2012, there was an increase in employment by 23 000 persons and a decrease in unemployment by 5 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 18 000 persons.

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. 2006-2012. As a percentage of the labour force.

Employment (LFS). Seasonally-adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 2006-2012

Unemployment at 3.2 per cent

The unemployment rate was 3.2 per cent of the labour force in February, adjusted for seasonal variations. This corresponded to 85 000 persons; 5 000 less than in November 2011. The decrease is within the LFS error margin. In comparison, the number of people registered as unemployed or on government initiatives to promote employment with the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) decreased by 2 000 persons during the same period. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Stable unemployment in Scandinavia

The unemployment rate in both Denmark and Sweden increased by 0.1 percentage point from November 2011 to February 2012, to 7.9 and 7.5 per cent respectively. These figures refer to seasonally-adjusted data from Eurostat .


The Norwegian LFS underwent some adjustments in 2006, where one of the changes was to lower the age limit for participation from 16 to 15 years. To avoid breaks in the time series for seasonally-adjusted figures, Statistics Norway chose not to include 15 year-olds when calculating seasonally-adjusted figures, thus these only covered the population 16-74 years. From February 2012, 15 year-olds are also included in the seasonally-adjusted figures, whereby the population is now limited to persons 15-74 years in the time series beginning in 2006. Along with this change, Statistics Norway has also improved several aspects of the season adjustment method. The change has led to reduced fluctuations around the trend. More information on the method used for seasonal adjustment is available in the hyperlinks About the statistics (ch. 3.6) and About seasonal adjustment .

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.

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 to the first two months in each quarter.

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