Oil FTE cost NOK 1.2 million
Labour market and earnings
arbkost, Labour costs, personnel costs (for example HSE, payments in kind, employer's NI contributions), main business sectors (for example manufacturing, commodity trade, teaching)Earnings and labour costs, Labour market and earnings

Labour costs


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Key figures


thousand NOK were the average labour costs per full-tome equivalent in 2012

Average labour costs per full-time equivalent employee
Total labour costs (NOK)683 900
Direct costs (NOK)537 400
Indirect costs (NOK)146 500
Salaries in kind (NOK)18 900
Employers' social contributions (NOK)55 800
Training costs (NOK)9 200
Taxes deducted subsidies (NOK)73 600
Other labour costs (NOK)2 500

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Table 1 
Total labour costs, direct and indirect costs, by NACE Rev.2

Total labour costs, direct and indirect costs, by NACE Rev.2
 Total labour costsDirect costsIndirect costs
In total683 900537 400146 500
Oil and gas extraction and mining1 215 300912 100303 200
Manufacturing659 600519 100140 500
Electricity, gas and steam810 500607 700202 800
Water supply, sewerage, waste599 500476 100123 400
Construction636 600491 500145 100
Wholesale and retail trade552 800438 700114 100
Transportation and storage658 600526 200132 400
Accommodation and food service activities433 800358 20075 600
Information and communication830 000647 200182 700
Financial intermediation963 400733 800229 600
Real estate activities801 800634 600167 200
Professional, scientific and technical activities818 500647 600170 900
Administrative and support service activities528 800430 00098 800
Education626 200497 700128 500
Human health and social work activities613 500492 100121 500
Arts, entertainment and recreation571 700469 500102 200
Personal service activities605 200477 200128 100

About the statistics

The statistics provides an overview of the total costs of having an employee.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Total labour costs is the employers' total cost of having employees. This includes both direct and indirect costs deducted subsidies from the Government.

Direct cost is salaries and wages and is defined as all cash compensation to employees. Payments for days not worked is included.

Payment for days not worked is a subset of direct costs and includes wages during leaves, extra days off.

Indirect costs includes payments in kind, health and safety measures, social costs, employers' social contribution, other taxes and training costs.

Payments in kind represent compensation, services and benefits that are not in cash.

Safety and health includes company health services and various safety measures.

Other costs includes Safety and health costs and Recruitment costs

Training costs is the employers' costs for employees' participation in external courses, educational spending, apprentices  and other costs in connection with training employees.

Social costs employers costs for mandatory and supplementary pension plans and insurances. employers social contribution is not included.

Employers' social contribution is the mandatory cost of participation in the national social security scheme. It is paid as a percentage of wages, vacation pay and contributions to pension plans.

The Number of full-time equivalent employees is calculated based on the number of full-time and part-time employees and the number of hours each employee worked dureing the year. The statistic includes all employees regardless of tasks.

Paid hours  consist of all hours the employer paid for, regardless wheter the hours where worked or not. It includes overtime and hollidays. hours worked, but not paid is not included.

Hours acctually worked is calculated as paid hours deducted all paid leave such as hollidays, sickness, public hollidays and other paid leave.    

Standard classifications

The industries are classified according to the official standard industrial classification SN 2007, which is the Norwegian version of the European NACE Rev. 2.

For 2008 the statistics are published according to both SN 2002 and SN 2007. For earlier editions, SN 2002 is used.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Labour costs
Topic: Labour market and earnings

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Responsible division

Division for Structural Business Statistics

Regional level

National level

Frequency and timeliness

Every fourth year

International reporting



Files with labour costs data and estimation programs are stored.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the statistics is to provide an overview of the total costs of having an employee. The statistics was established in 1998 with statistics for the year 1996.

Users and applications

Major users are Eurostat, the Technical Reporting Committee on the Income Settlement, business and industry.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

The statistics are to a certain degree comparable with the development in the wage statistics and National accounts.

For further information see: http://www.ssb.no/en/lonnansatt  and http://www.ssb.no/en/nr


Legal authority

Statistics Act Sections 2-1, 2-2 and 2-3.

EEA reference

Council Regulation (EC) no. 530/1999 of 9 March 1999 Concerning Structural Statistics for Wages and Labour Costs and Commissions Regulation (EC) nr. 1737/2005 of 21. October 2005 and Commissions Regulation (EC) nr. 698/2006 of 5. May 2006



The population covers all enterprises in Statistics Norway's Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises in major industries except for the Public administration and Defence and Agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The statistics is based on a sample survey covering 3500 enterprises with 10 or more employees.

For the years 1996,200 and 2004 the population only covered the Private sector.

Data sources and sampling

Information about wage and salary costs are gathered from the End of the Year Certificate Register and Employers' social contributions from the tax accounts of the Directorate of taxes.

The sample consists of enterprises randomly drawn from a population. Enterprises with less than ten employees are excluded from the sample.

The sample includes both a representative sample and a complete count. The complete count includes all enterprises with a sufficient number of employees while the sample is a stratified, random sample of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The purpose of the sampling is to both find a representative sample for the survey and to avoid burdening all enterprises with questionnaires. An effort has been made to ensure that small enterprises are also least burdened by questionnaires.

The sample includes about 3 500 enterprises

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Information from the registers is verified and information about other costs is gathered from an electronic questionnaire sent out to all enterprises included in the sample. The questionnaire includes questions about salaries in kind, safety and health, training costs, subsidies from the government and taxes for each enterprise.In addition the questionaire contain questions regarding number of full time and part time employees and working hours.

The data is revised and controlled through several processes, both automatically and manually. Additionally, the questionnaire had some built-in controls that ensured a minimal level of consistency between the different posts.

Automatic controls correct mathematical mistakes and limit or reduces data that are not within a reasonable range. Some data points were also imputed where the enterprise had missing values or values that were obviously erroneous.

Important units with large deviations were revised manually and compared with other sources, mainly the annual accounts of the enterprises in question.

The collected data should represent the average level of labour costs in the industries included in the survey and the data is therefore weighted.

The population is stratified by industry and size as measured by number of employees. The largest enterprises in each industry are all included. For enterprises with fewer employees a sample is drawn, ranging from 5 to 30 per cent of the population.

The weighting is based on the inverse probability of inclusion in the sample such that the weighted number of employees in the sample is equal to the number of employees in the population. The weighting is based on enterprises with sufficient data quality such that any biases introduce by variably data quality is adjusted for.

Average costs are calculated by divided the weighted total costs by the weighted number of full-time equivalent employees.

For 2012 indirect cost is lower than the cost components due to subsidies reducted from the total indirect cost.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

The labour costs statistics were produced for the first time in 1996, and statistics are comparable through time for some section. From 1996 through 2008 was according to NACE Rev.1 From 2008 statistics has been published according to the new industry standard, NACE Rev.2 (SN2007). From 2012 the public sector is included in the sections.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Measurement errors are introduced when the questionnaires are either misunderstood or the information requested is difficult to obtain.

The statistics are also based on data from several registers. Errors can be introduced by variable or lagging update frequency. E.g., enterprises that merged in December are in certain registers counted as one enterprise while other registers maintain the original number.



Non-Response  Between 3-10 per cent of the sample did not respond.The main reason is that the enterprise no longer has employees due to cessation of activities, bankruptcy, mergers or acquisition by new owner. Moreover, certain enterprises consistently fail to respond while others respond so belatedly that they are not included from the survey.

Partial non-response Enterprises may not respond to certain questions that are hard to quantify, e.g. social costs and different kinds of leave.

All sample-based surveys will be burdened with a certain uncertainty. Generally, the results are less certain the fewer the observations they are based on. Uncertainty also depends on costs dispersion and rate of coverage for the various variables in the population from which the sample is drawn. Groups that are based on relatively few observations will easily be affected by so-called extreme observations, or observations that deviate markedly from the group average. Such extreme observations are carefully considered on a case-by-case basis for inclusion in the statistical basis.

Incorrect industry codes and/or employment data in Statistics Norway's Register of Establishments and Enterprises during the selection of the sample may result in the establishments being placed in the wrong industry or selection stratum.


Not relevant