Why are the earnings statistics not part of the employment statistics?


Although the earnings statistics are now based on a census of employed wage earners, these statistics are not a measure of the employment in different occupations, industries, sectors, etc.


If you are looking for figures on the number of employees or the number unemployed or similar, you need to use the figures from the register-based employment statistics, LFS or national accounts.

Employment is measured in different ways in Statistics Norway’s statistics. The register-based employment statistics are based on different registers, where the a-ordningen arrangement and tax return information are the two main sources. The Labour Force Survey is based on quarterly interviews with a sample of 24 000 people. Both statistics are based on people who are registered as resident in Norway according to the National Population Register. The criterion is an expected stay of at least six months in Norway. The national accounts cover all employment in domestic enterprises, i.e. enterprises that are expected to drive production in Norway for at least 12 months, regardless of whether the employed person is registered as resident in Norway.

The main differences between earnings statistics and employment statistics are as follows:

  • 1. Earnings statistics only include employed wage earners, not the self-employed. In the employment statistics, both groups are included.
  • 2. The population of the earnings statistics is defined for the purpose of measuring earnings, not employment. Therefore the statistics only cover wage earners who receive earnings in the reference month. In the employment statistics, more groups in the labour marked are included. Employed persons are persons between 15-74 years of age who performed work for pay or profit for at least one hour in the reference week, or who were temporarily absent from work because of illness, holidays etc. Conscripts are classified as employed persons. Persons engaged by government measures to promote employment are also included if they receive wages. This follows recommendations from the International Labour Organization, ILO.
  • 3. The analysis unit in the wage statistics is employment per business, i.e. an employee may have more than one job in various businesses, while employment relationships within the same business are aggregated together into one. The number of employment relationships provided in the statistics will thus exceed the number of employees (individuals) in the population, because an employee can have more than one employment relationship during the reference week in various businesses. The employment statistics include figures on both employment relationships and employed persons (individuals).