Almost 27 000 more immigrants employed
Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants
innvregsys, Employment among immigrants, register-based, immigrant background, country background, period of residence, employees, occupational groups, self-employed, industries (for example manufacturing, public administration, restaurants)Employment , Labour market and earnings, Labour market and earnings, Immigration and immigrants

Employment among immigrants, register-based2012, 4th quarter



This is an archived release.

Go to latest release

Almost 27 000 more immigrants employed

Immigrants contributed to most of the employment growth in Norway from the 4th quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter of 2012. Recently arrived labour immigrants from the EEA countries made the largest contribution to this growth, but there was also an increase within other, more established immigrant groups.

Employed total population and employed immigrants by world region. Absolute figures and in per cent of persons aged 15-74 years in each group. 4th quarter
2012Change last twelve months
Absolute figuresPer cent2011 - 2012
Absolute figuresPercentage points
Population in total2 589 00068.727 000-0.4
Non-immigrant population2 255 02169.7203-0.4
Immigrants, total333 97962.826 7970.0
The Nordic Countries46 67676.11 1390.2
Western Europe except the Nordic Countries and Turkey39 28870.02 186-0.4
EU members in Eastern Europe89 49073.013 568-0.6
Eastern Europe outside of EU30 28262.31 5770.1
North America and Oceania6 50166.43750.6
Asia85 92354.65 5510.7
Africa24 70542.51 825-1.7
South and Central America11 11463.2576-0.4

Immigrants from the EU countries in Eastern Europe had the strongest growth in the number employed with 13 500, many of whom arrived in Norway in 2012. If we also add immigrants from the other EEA countries, the total employment growth was almost 17 000 persons within these groups. Of the other immigrant groups, Asians had the strongest increase of 5 500 employed persons.

Employment rate among immigrants is unchanged

In spite of the strong growth in the number of employed immigrants over the last year, the employment rate among immigrants was, nevertheless, unchanged at 62.8 per cent (employed immigrants as a percentage of the immigrant population aged 15-74 years). This is due to the large increase in immigrants arriving in Norway in 2012. Within the whole Norwegian population (at the same age), the employment rate was 68.7 per cent, which was 0.4 percentage points below the level of 2011.

In other words, there is a difference of 5.9 percentage points in the employment rate between immigrants and the Norwegian population as a whole within the age group 15-74 years. When looking at the most economically active age group between 20 and 66 years of age, a larger difference at about 11 percentage points emerges. This is due to a much lower share of people aged 67-74 years among immigrants compared to the rest of the population. This age group has a very low employment rate.

Largest gap to the whole population among immigrant women

Among immigrants aged 15-74 years, 67.8 per cent of the men and 57.3 per cent of the women were employed in the 4th quarter, i.e. a difference of 10.5 percentage points. In the population as a whole, this gender difference was smaller. A total of 71.6 per cent of the men and 65.7 per cent of the women were employed, which gives a difference of 5.9 percentage points. From these figures, it also follows that there is a larger gap to the population as a whole among female immigrants than among male immigrants.

The employment rate among male immigrants increased by 0.2 percentage points from the 4th quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter of 2012, while female immigrants had a decline of 0.3 percentage points. In the population as a whole, both men and women had a decline, by 0.1 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.

Large differences among immigrants

The employment rate among immigrants from the EEA countries, who are mainly labour immigrants, is higher than the national average (at 68.7 per cent). In the 4th quarter of 2012, the employment rates among these groups were as follows: 76.1 per cent (the Nordic countries), 73.0 per cent (EU countries in Eastern Europe) and 70.0 per cent (Western Europe). Next to them we find immigrants from North America and Oceania, with a 66.4 per cent employment share, while the rate for immigrants from South and Central America and Eastern Europe outside the EU was similar, at 63.2 and 62.3 per cent respectively. The rate for the Asian group is somewhat lower, at ca.54.6 per cent, while immigrants from Africa have an even lower rate, at 42.5 per cent.

These differences have been quite stable irrespective of economic cycles. Immigrants from Asia and Africa have larger shares of refugees with a shorter time of residence in Norway than other groups, especially the African group. In addition, we find very low employment rates among many African and Asian women, which pulls down the average within these groups. This phenomenon applies to established groups such as the Pakistanis and the Turkish, and more recently arrived immigrants from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents are closer to the young population in total

Norwegian-born to immigrant-parents constitute a rather young population group where as many as half of the group are below 21 years of age, and are likely to be students/pupils and thus not included in the labour force. If, however, we look at the groups of employed persons aged 20 to 30 years, their employment rates are between 7 and 8 percentage points higher than the employment rates in the same age groups among immigrants and about 5 percentage points below the total average rate for these age groups.