Employment among immigrants, register-based

Updated: 9 March 2023

Next update: Not yet determined

Immigrants aged 20-66 years are employed
Immigrants aged 20-66 years are employed

About the statistics

The register based statistics describe the level of employment among immigrants, divided by world regions and country of birth. The immigrant figures are compared to employment figures within the rest of the population. Occupation, industry and working hours are also included in the statistics.

Employed persons are persons who performed work for pay for at least one hour in the reference week, or who were temporarily absent from work because of illness, holidays etc. are classified as employed persons. Persons engaged by government measures to promote employment are also included if they receive wages.

Immigrants are persons born abroad by foreign born parents.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents are persons that are born in Norway with two parents that are born in another country, and that have additionaly four grandparents that are born in another country then Norway.

Country background Country background is the person's own, the mother's or possibly the father's country of birth. Persons without an immigrant background always have Norway as country background. In cases where the parents have different countries of birth the mother's country of birth is chosen. If neither the person nor the parents are born abroad, country background is chosen from the first person born abroad in the order mother's mother, mother's father, father's mother, father's father. Country of birth is mainly the mother'c country of recidence when the person was born.

We only have information about the country background from persons With a social Security number. for persons With a temporarily social Security number (D-number), we only have information on citizenship.

Citizenship is citizenship in the reference week.

Period of recidence shows the period an immigrant have lived in Norway in the Statistical year on the file.

Person-related characteristics

The characteristics of residence, gender and age are taken from the Population Register.

Residence information is at the end of the reference week for the period 2001-2014 (3rd week in November). From 2015, residence information is at the end of the statistical month.

Information about age is at the end of the year for the period 2001-2005. From 2006, the age definition changed from age at the end of the year to age at the end of the reference week (3rd week in November). At the same time, the lower age limit as employed was lowered from 16 to 15 years in line with international recommendations. From 2015, age is registered as of 16 November.

Information about the immigration category, country of origin and residence is obtained from Statistics Norway's population statistics system.

Residents are defined as persons registered in the Central Population Register and also include temporary residents with a planned stay in Norway for six months or more.

Non-residents are defined as persons registered in the Central Population Register with a planned stay in Norway in less than six months. Non-residents include persons with a temporary social security number (D-number) or registered as emigrants, but work in Norway.

Employer-related characteristics

The characteristics of workplace and industry are obtained from the Business and Enterprise Register and apply to the business where the person works. For self-employed persons who cannot be linked to either business or enterprise, the business of the self-employed person is the Source of information on residence, education and Family. The place of employment for seafarers and defense personnel is equal to the municipality of residence for residents.

Information about the sector is based on institutional sectoral grouping and is obtained from the Business and Enterprise Register.

Contractual percentage of full-time equivalent

Contractual percentage of full-time equivalent is what you have agreed to work according to your contract of employment. The employer shall not consider additional work, overtime or different types of absence from work or if the hours have been paid or not. The information on contractual percentage of full-time equivalent is based on what is reported to the a-ordningen.

For persons that are paid by the hour without contractual working hours per week, e.g on-call temporary workers, the employer can report 0 as contractual percentage of full-time equivalent. Statistics Norway will then calculate contractual percentage of full-time equivalent from what is reported as paid hours and number of hours that corresponds to a 100 per cent position in the moth of Reporting.

Contractual working hours per week

By combining information regarding contractual percentage of full-time equivalent and number of hours per week in a full position, contractual working hours per week is calculated for each employment (job) and wage earner (person).

The number of hours in a full position is the number of working hours that makes a full position in a similar employment. Unpaid lunchbreaks are withdrawn, but it is not adjusted for potential additional work, overtime or different types of absence from work

Contractual full-time/part-time

Full time is when the contractual percentage of full-time equivalent equals 100 or more. Part-time is when the contractual percentage of full-time equivalent is less than 100.

The industrial classification is in accordance with the revised Standard Industrial Classification (NOS D 383), which is based on the EU-standard of NACE Rev. 2.

The occupational classification is in accordance with Standard Classification of Occupations (STYRK 2008), which is based on ISCO 08 (COM).

Distribution by municipality follows municipal list per. 1.1. in the production year for the statistics.

Statistics Norway's use of names in immigrant-related statistics is linked to the Standard for Grouping Persons by Immigration Background.

The following sections are used for grouping persons by immigrant background:

  • Born in Norway with two Norwegian-born parents
  • Immigrants
  • Norwegian-born with immigrant parents.
  • Foreign-born with one Norwegian-born parent.
  • Norwegian-born with one foreign-born parent.
  • Foreign-born with two Norwegian-born parents (includes foreign-adopted)

In our labor market statistics for immigrants, the three latter groups are usually merged with the first. These four groups are called "the population otherwise" or "the rest of the population."

The educational classification is in accordance with the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education Revised 2000 (NOS C 617).

Breakdown by municipality is in accordance with the list of municipalities as of 1 January in the year the statistics are produced.

World regions of birth (tables 1 &– 5, 7, 8 and 13): The Nordic countries, Western Europe else, EU-countries in Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe else, Northern America and Oceania, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

EU countries in Eastern Europe (tables 1 &– 5, 7, 8 and 13): Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Country group of birth (tables 6, 10-12):

Group 1 (The Nordic countries, Western Europe else, EU-countries in Eastern Europe , Northern America, Australia and New Zealand).

Group 2 (Eastern Europe outside the EU, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania except Australia and New Zealand).

Name: Employment among immigrants, register-based

Topic: Labour market and earnings

Not yet determined

Division for Labour Market and Wage Statistics

Municipality, County and the whole country

Annual per 4th quarter

Some to OECD

Not relevant

The statistics show the proportion of immigrants and Norwegian born with immigrant parents who are employed. Employment figures for immigrants and Norwegian born with immigrant parents in total, by sex and country of origin, are compared with the rest of the population.

The purpose is to describe employment and industry distribution at a detailed regional level among immigrants and employed short-term immigrants stays in Norway.

As of 2018, statistics on Employed short-term immigrants is shut down and the statistics bank tables from these statistics are published together with the immigrant tables. The purpose of including this group is to describe the situation for wage earners on short-term stays in Norway, ie persons working in Norway without being registered resident according to the Central Population Register (the criterion is that one is expected to stay for at least six months in the country). This applies, for example, to persons commuting to work in Norway for longer and shorter periods of time. Persons living abroad can thus have a working relationship in Norway that extends over several years.

Public administration and local government, researchers, business organizations and the media are the key users of the statistics.

Not relevant

Starting in 2015

The figures have the same number of figures as the Employment, register-based statistics, which until 2014 were built on various public registers, where NAV's Aa Register was the most important. From 2015, reporting from the employers to the Aa registry and some reports to the Tax Administration and Statistics Norway were collected in a new joint reporting solution called the a-ordningen. See more information about the a-ordningen under "Production."

The total number of wage earners in total was determined by the number of wage earners in the Labor Force Surveys (LFS) before 2015. Now it is determined from just the register numbers, and therefore the sample uncertainty that followed the LFS figures is missing. The numbers from 2015 will thus differ from the LFS figures, while they are quite similar at country level for the period 2000-2014.

Previously, there have been published statistics of workers by occupational and workplace. The employee statistics are based on data from the Aa registry, and comprise about 80 per cent of the employed (see Employees by Housing and Labour Employees by Workplace Municipality and Industry).

There are also published more detailed figures for Health care personnel based on data from the registry-based employment statistics, but where the specification of the population has been extended to include non-residents as well as second jobs. For more information on these statistics, see the individual statistics "About the statistics". With regard to the measurement of employment in national accounts and other economic statistics, there are other international recommendations that apply than for the labour market statistics. Here, you are based on resident production units / companies and not in residents. The issue was discussed more closely with the latest publication of quarterly national accounts figures.

The statistics Number of employments also shows an overview of the number of wage earners on short-term stays and immigrants. These statistics are also based on the a-ordningen.

Until 2018, Employed short-term immigrants was a own statistics. In the statistics bank there are numbers for only wage earners on short-term stays from previous years. Read more about this statistic in the '' About Statistics '' in the referenced link.

The Statistical Act $3-2 (Administrative Registers)

Not relevant

The statistics of immigrants include settled persons 15-74 years who have worked for at least one hour in the reference week or who were temporarily absent from such work. The exception is persons resident in Norway with a workplace abroad.

In addition to resident immigrants, there are also published tables of employed short-term immigrants (non-residents).

From 2000-2014 the reference week the third week in November. From 2015, the reference week is the week containing the 16th, which is generally 3rd week in November.

From 4th quarter 2007 reference week has changed from beginning November to 3rd week in November. Surveys so far suggest that this only gives less results in the figures.

Data Sources

Starting in 2015

From 2015, reporting from the employers to the NAV Aa registry and some reports to the Tax Administration and Statistics Norway were collected in a new joint reporting solution called the a-ordningen. The A-ordningen is a coordinated digital collection of employment, income and tax deductions for the Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway. The scheme entails that Statistics Norway receives information about salaries and employees directly from the a-meldingen, which is the electronic message containing all the information collected instead of several different sources as today. On the website https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/business-and-organisation/employer/the-a-melding/ is more information about the scheme.

The A-ordningen has replaced NAV's Employer / Employee Register (Aa Registry) and Payroll and Deduction Register (LTO Registry). In addition to the a-ordningen, other registers are used, the most important being the tax return register administered by the Tax Directorate, the register of consular officers from Vernepliktsverket and the Unit Register.

Employees who are not residents also use registers of persons / employment from the Central Tax Office for Foreign Affairs (SFU). Norwegian and foreign business operators and public bodies shall provide the SFU with information about workers on assignments at the place of construction and assembly activities, the Norwegian Continental Shelf or at the place under the control of the contractor in Norway. Information shall be provided when the contractor is a company domiciled abroad or a resident of a foreign country. The reporting obligation also includes any subcommittees.

The registrations mentioned above as well as several other registers, such as NAV's ARENA registry, which provide data on unemployed persons and persons on government measures, are used to quality assure the data.

4th quarter 2001 - 4th quarter 2014

Data for register-based employment among immigrants is based on several different registries. The most important are NAV's Employer / Employee Register (Aa Register), Payroll and Trafficking Register (LTO) and Tax Records Registry, administered by the Tax Directorate, the Registry of Consular Officers and Civilian Workers from the Vernepliktsverket and Civil Service Administration, and the Unit Register.

The Aa registry is the main source of data on wage earners, but the payroll and trafficking register constitutes an important supplement by capturing payroll conditions that are not reported to the Aa registry. Both registries have employment (jobs) as a unit. The tax return register is the main source of information about self-employed persons. The unit register, and the Enterprise and Business Register provide information about the companies where the employees work. In addition, supplementary data from a number of other sources are used to quality assure data from the registries mentioned above: NAV's ARENA registry, which provides data on unemployed persons and persons on government measures, state employee statistics, municipal government statistics, wage statistics for employees in the private sector, sickness absence register etc.

The demarcation of employees is thus based on a number of different sources, and a system has been developed in Statistics Norway for a total utilization of these. The systems include modules for consistency processing between different data sources, selection of key working conditions and classification as employed.


Full Count.

Data collection A-ordningen: Statistics Norway receives data monthly from the ETAT Joint Undertaking (EFF), a management unit subject to the Tax Administration, which manages the scheme on behalf of the three etat's that own the data; Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway.

NAV Aa register: Statistics Norway (SSB) received weekly files of change from the Aa registry, as well as an annual total withdrawal. The Aa registry has been replaced by the a-ordningen from 1.1.2015.

Salary and deduction register: As of 1.1.2015, the LTO registry has been replaced by the a-ordningen.

Tax return register: Statistics Norway annually extracts the data from the Norwegian Tax Directorate.

Register of civil servants and conscripts: Statistics Norway received quarterly files from the Vernepliktsverket and Siviltjenesteadministrasjonen at Dillingøy until 2014. The data is processed and assembled into a register containing annual information. From 2015, Statistics Norway receives monthly files from Vernepliktsverket.

Unit Register / Business and Enterprises Register: Business-related variables such as workplace municipality and industry are obtained from the Unit Register and Statistics Norway's Business and Enterprise Register.

Central Tax Office for Foreign Affairs: Statistics Norway receives monthly total deductions from the SFU.

For the two most important registries on which production is based from 2015, control and auditing will take place as follows:

A scheme

Multiple check checks are carried out:

  • Business rules at the reception of the United Nations Joint Management (EFF)
  • In Statistics Sweden's production system for pay and employment

Business rules (controls) at the reception of EFF:

After the a-meldingen has been received by EFF, a number of business rules (controls) are executed to detect errors in the submitted information. Small and medium-sized companies will receive feedback in a short period of time (less than one minute), while large companies have to wait a little longer.

Business rules and error messages are documented on the a-order pages:https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/business-and-organisation/employer/the-a-melding/

Controls in Statistics Norway's production plans:

In the production plan, a number of controls and automated measures are implemented, aiming at ensuring data quality for statistical purposes. We distinguish between three types of controls:

a) Automatic controls and measures

b) Reports (monitoring)

c) Manual controls

In addition to this, checks will be carried out throughout the year regardless of publication.

Controls aimed at detecting defects and deficiencies that should be corrected are mainly aimed at working conditions. Many checks have been made which show errors and shortcomings in the time-to-date full-time position and employment rate, combined with other characteristics such as working conditions, working time and remuneration type, including:

  • Time full-time is missing
  • Time count full time likely error reported
  • The time total full-time deviates from the reported work schedule
  • Time count full time extremely high or low
  • percentage of employment is missing

In the production plan, many registered employment conditions are removed (not considered active) because there is no registered salary in the employment relationship during the reference month. This may apply to seasonal workers who have not worked in the reference month (and therefore have not received a salary), where there is (wrongly) no reported end date of terminated employment conditions and cases where people have been incorrectly reported with active employment (e.g. Persons on a weekly list who have not worked during the period).

Tax returns Register

A number of machine checks are carried out for the tax return register. First, it is checked whether the sum of sub items matches the main items from the tax return. It is further investigated whether extreme values ​​are logical in relation to the rest of the tax return. Internal consistency checks are also carried out.

Until 2014, when the Aa registry and the LTO registry were the main sources, control and audit occurred as follows:

NAV performs a yearly audit of the Aa register. A selection of employers with manual reporting is sent lists of all persons who have been registered with active employment. Errors are reported to the NAV Aa register. Statistics Norway controls that multi-enterprise companies have their own numbers for each business, and that employees are associated with the right business. Furthermore, professional codes are checked. Errors detected are reported to the employer via NAV for registrations. This is important for proper information about industry and workplace municipality.

In addition, Statistics Norway makes automatic checks and adjustments based on reasonableness of total working hours in employee relationships, by the existence of wage income from the payroll and treasury records and that the person is not to be registered as fully unemployed according to NAV's ARENA registry. A complete overview of controls and machining can be found in "Register-based Employment Statistics". Documentation (Note 2010/08).

Not relevant

According to the common rules for this at Statistics Norway

Register-based employment among immigrants was first published in connection with FoB2001, where figures for Q4 2000 were also included.

About new data

Registry-based employment statistics are based on a new data base for wage earners from 2015. The main source until 2014 was NAV's Employee Register (Aa-register). In 2015, reporting to NAV to this register was coordinated with reporting of salary and personnel data to the Tax Administration and Statistics Norway. The common reporting system is called the a-ordningen. The A-ordningen generally provides a better data base because it is more accurate at the individual level and that it covers more payroll relationships than the Aa registry. Furthermore, it allows for more frequent publishing of wage earners. It will provide very detailed figures for developments in the labour market. This applies, among other things, to statistics on municipality level by age and industry.

Change in time series

With the transition to the new data base from 2014 to 2015, we get more precise figures for the number of employed. The number of employed was 60,000 lower in the new data base than in the old scheme, which was based on the employment rate of employed persons in the Labour Force Surveys (LFS). Compared with the total number of employed, the difference is the message 2.4 percent, but it means that the number of employees in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 does not indicate an actual change. Therefore, when you want a change in the national level between 2014 and 2015, you should use LFS with numbers for people employed in Norway. You can also use quarterly national accounts that provide numbers for employed by industry. Quarterly national accounts also include those who work in Norway without being a part of the Norwegian population.

Overall, Statistics Norway estimates that the quality of the registry-based employment statistics has improved since 2015. Due to computer challenges, too, in the new registry, we do not currently publish tables on working hours. Efforts are being made to improve reporting quality, while SSB is testing methods for adjusting for reporting errors. Tables of working hours will therefore come eventually.

Data from 4th Quarter 2001 - 4th Quarter 2014:

The production of figures for the fourth quarter of 2004 produced revised figures for residents in the fourth quarter of 2003. This is partly due to improvements in the production plan and partly to improvements in data reported to the registers on which the statistics are based.

Improvements in the production plan affect wage earners in small jobs where information about actual workplace has been inadequate. Especially in the government administration of Oslo this resulted. Due to the fact that the new scheme has been run on figures for the fourth quarter of 2003, this should not be a mistake in the fourth quarter 2004 change figures.

For the primary municipalities, there have been shortcomings in the reporting to the Aa registry previously, and a quality improvement was started towards the end of 2004. This is mainly based on a more correct distribution of employees in the various parts of the municipalities. Most of the improvements have been included in the data base for the fourth quarter of 2005.

From 2006, the lower age limit was counted as employed decreased from 16 to 15 years, in line with international recommendations. At the same time, the age definition changed from age at the end of the year to age at the end of the reference week. This resulted in 10,000 more employed in Q4 2005, as new comparable figures have also been created.

By publishing figures for Q4 2009, one went over to a new standard for industry grouping (SN2007). This resulted in a break compared with previous years. At the same time, comparable figures were published for the fourth quarter of 2008 according to a new nutrition standard.

To read about revisions made by the figures for employed short-term immigrants, see '' about the statistics '' at https://www.ssb.no/en/arbeid-og-lonn/statistikker/kortsys.

Starting in 2015

Self-employed persons are identified by the tax return register. Due to the long production time, information on business activities from the previous year was based on the compilation of the statistics. As a consequence of this time shift, people can thus be mistakenly classified as employed if they completed the business the previous year.

The total number of employed was determined by LFS until 2015 and divided between wage earners and self-employed persons. Starting in 2015, only the number of self-employed persons determined by LFS. For wage earners, therefore, the sample uncertainty that followed the LFS figures will be eliminated. On the other hand, the level of wage earners is a little too low.


For persons defined as wage earners only on the basis of information from the payroll and trades register (about 10 per cent of wage earners), we do not have information on the period of the employment. For about half of who this applies to, information is gathered from other administrative sources that help date the employment. For the remainder, wage information is based on whether a person is considered to be employed. There is therefore some uncertainty about the employment relationship actually being active in the reference week.

For large enterprises with many businesses, the distribution of employees in the Aa register is sometimes inadequate. This can give noticeable results in changes in municipality level when such errors occur and when corrected.

Because the basis registers do not provide secure information about all those employed at the reference date, the land survey for wage earners and independents from the interview survey, Labor Force Surveys (LFS), is used to determine the same size in the register-based employment statistics. This means that the sample uncertainty in LFS is also reflected in the registers for employed at the country level.

Some people do not get links to SSB files with information about immigrant category, country of birth etc. Most of the people who lived during the fiscal year. In these cases, citizenship is used as a substitute for a country of origin provided that he / she is a foreign citizen and the person is assigned a code for immigrant. This information may be revised next year when a new file with immigration data is available.

Not relevant


Arbeidsmarked og lønn


Ingebjørg Aamodt


(+47) 92 62 38 40