Stable labour market
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings
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Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figuresMay 2012



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Stable labour market

The labour market remained stable from February to May 2012. The unemployment rate was 3 per cent in May.

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

The seasonally adjusted unemployment decreased by 3 000 persons, or 0.1 percentage points, from February (average of January-March) to May (average of April-June) 2012. The decrease is within the error margin of the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

In comparison, the number of people registered as unemployed or on government initiatives to promote employment with the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) remained unchanged from February to May. These figures have also been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Minor changes in employment

Adjusted for seasonal variations, employment increased by 13 000 from February to May. The increase is within the LFS error margin. However, the increase is consistent with earlier increases in employment the past year.

The employment rate was 69.5 per cent in May, unchanged from February. 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 February to May 2012, the LFS indicated an increase in employment of 13 000 persons and a decrease in unemployment of 3 000. This gives an increase in the labour force of 10 000 persons.

Coherence between the concepts

Unemployed + Employed = Labour force

Labour force + Outside the labour force = Population

Unemployment up in the EU15

In the EU15 the unemployment was 10.4 per cent in May - up 0.2 percentage points since February. During the same period, the unemployment rate in the USA decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 8.2 per cent. The international figures refer to seasonally-adjusted data from Eurostat .

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

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 .