Decrease in sickness absence
Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants;Health
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Sickness absenceQ3 2011



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Decrease in sickness absence

Sickness absence decreased from 7 to 6.6 per cent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011; a decrease of 4.9 per cent.

Sickness absence man-days for employees, self-certified and certified by a doctor. In per cent of scheduled man-days (sickness absence rate). 3rd quarter 2000-3rd quarter 2011

Doctor-certified sickness absence decreased from 6.1 to 5.8 per cent, while self-certified sickness absence remained unchanged at 0.8 per cent.

Sickness absence in the third quarter of 2011 was 11.2 per cent lower than in the third quarter of 2001, which was the year of implementation of the agreement on an inclusive labour market.

Strongest decrease for men

Sickness absence for men decreased from 5.6 to 5.2 per cent. The absence for women decreased from 8.6 to 8.4 per cent; a fall of 47.1 and 2.7 per cent respectively.

Decrease in nearly every industry

Sickness absence man-days for employees, self-certified and certified by a doctor. In per cent of scheduled man-days (sickness absence rate). 1st quarter 2007-3rd quarter 2011

Amongst the major industries, the manufacturing and accommodation and food services industries had the strongest decreases, of 10.9 and 9 per cent respectively.

Education was the only industry that showed a small increase - of 1.2 per cent.

Strongest decrease in private sectors

Local government had a small increase in sickness absence of 0.4 per cent. In the private sector, the absence decreased by 7.1 per cent, while the absence in central government (including health enterprises) dropped by 1.5 per cent.

The sickness absence level in the 3rd quarter of 2011 was lowest in the private sector, with 6.2 per cent, and highest in local government, with 8.3 per cent.

Strongest decrease for the youngest age groups

The doctor-certified absence fell in all of the major age-groups, with the strongest decrease among the youngest age groups (below 30 years). The age group 25-29 years had the strongest decrease by 10.7 per cent.

Within the different age groups by sex, the strongest reduction was among females in the age groups 16-19 and 20-24 years; 10 per cent. For men, the age group 25-29 years had the strongest decrease, of 12.9 per cent.

These results are based on data on sickness absence certified by a doctor, as the survey on self-certified absence does not contain data on sickness absence by age.

Sickness absence by new industry classification dating back to 2000

From the figures published for the first quarter of 2009, a new industry classification is in use. These will give a break in the time series for the figures by industry. Statistics Norway has calculated figures according to the new industry classification dating back to 2000. We refer to tables 3 and 33 under “ More tables ”.

Sickness absence according to the Labour Force Survey dating back to 1972

The sickness absence statistics give figures dating back to the second quarter of 2000. For longer time series we must use other data sources, for instance the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Tables for sickness absence according to LFS dating back to 1972 (total figures) and 1979 (men/women) are now available in StatBank .

Technical information

Rates of change

The sickness absence rates are presented using one decimal point. More decimal points are used when calculating the rates of change in order to get more accurate figures. These will therefore differ slightly from the rates of change produced when using the published rounded figures.

The statistics do not cover self-employed persons.