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 figuresMarch 2012



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Decrease in unemployment

The unemployment rate was 3 per cent of the labour force in March 2012. This gives a decrease of 0.3 percentage points compared with December last year. Employment increased by 19 000 during the same period.

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 80 000 unemployed persons in March 2012 (average of February-April), down by 8 000 since December 2011 (average of November-January). The main part of the decrease was among the over 25s.

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 3 000 persons during the same period. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Increase in employment

From December last year to March this year, employment rose by 19 000. The growth in employment was quite equally distributed among women and men, but the increase was strongest among those under the age of 25.

The growth in the number of employees also gave an increase in the employment rate; up from 69.2 per cent in December to 69.5 per cent in March. The employment rate is employed persons as a percentage of the population.

The labour force is the total of employed and unemployed persons between 15-74 years of age. From December 2011 to March 2012, there was an increase in employment of 19 000 persons and a decrease in unemployment of 8 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 11 000 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 down in the USA, up in the EU15

The unemployment rate in the USA was 8.2 per cent in March, down 0.3 percentage points from December 2011. Unemployment in the EU15 increased during the same period; from 10.6 to 10.9 per cent. The EU15 is made up of the EU countries prior to the expansions in 2004 and 2007.

In Denmark, the unemployment rate increased from 7.8 per cent in December 2011 to 8.1 per cent in March 2012. In Sweden, the unemployment rate went down 0.2 percentage points to 7.3 per cent in March. The international 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.

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 .