More long-term unemployed

From the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2009 the number of long-term unemployed persons increased by 11 000. Almost a third of the unemployed in the 4th quarter of 2009 were long-term unemployed

Seasonally-adjusted figures: Stable labor market

The unemployment rate remained stable from August to November. The unemployment rate was 3.2 percent of the labor force in November. The level of employment remained unchanged.

Adjustments for seasonal variations allow for the analysis of current developments in the labor market, and serve as an alternative to comparisons with the corresponding quarter in the previous year. Seasonally-adjusted figures are presented in a separate article.

Long-term unemployed is defined as employees who have been without work for more than 26 weeks. Of a total of 75,000 unemployed in the 4th quarter of 2009, 23,000 were long-term unemployed persons. The share of long-term unemployed rose from 19 percent in the 4th quarter of 2008, to 31 percent in the 4th quarter of 2009.

According to the labor force survey (LFS), the number of unemployed rose by 9 000 people from the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2008. The entire increase related to men. The unemployment rate was 2.9 percent of the labor force in the 4th quarter of 2009, while it was 2.6 percent in the same quarter of 2008. These figures must not be mistaken for the seasonally-adjusted figures. Among men, the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, while the corresponding figure for women was 2.4 percent. The average unemployment rate for 2009 as a whole was 3.2 percent.

The number of underemployed was 54,000 in the 4th quarter of 2009, which is the same level as the 4th quarter of 2008. Underemployment is employees with part-time settled working hours who have tried to find more work. The group of underemployed and unemployed as a whole wanted work corresponding to 83,000 full-time equivalents in the third quarter of 2009 – up 10,000 from the year before.

Decrease in employment

From the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2008, employment fell by 28,000 people. The decline in employment was among the young; within the last year, a total of 25,000 people under 30 have left the labor market. The LFS shows an increase among young persons who report education as the main activity during the same period.

The decline in employment has been particularly high within wholesale and retail and manufacturing. Manufacturing has had a reduction of 22,000 people, which is a decrease of over 8 percent. Wholesale and retail experienced a reduction of 12 000 people.

There has been a decrease of 11,000 persons on temporary contracts in the past year. In the 4th quarter of 2009 this corresponds to 7.9 percent of the total employment, which is a reduction from 8.2 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2008. In the 4th quarter of 2009 the LFS shows a total of 180 000 people on temporary contracts.

Lower labor force participation

The labor force fell by 19 000 between the 4t h quarter of 2008 and 4t h quarter of 2009. In the same period, there was an increase in the population of 53 000, hence the number of persons outside the labor force in total increased by 72,000.

The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed between 15-74 years of age. From the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2009 the LFS shows a decline in employment of 28,000, while there is an increase of unemployment of 9,000. This represents a decline in the labor force of 19,000.

The coherence between the concepts

Unemployed + Employed = Labor force

Labor force + Outside the labor force = Population

The total labour force participation in Norway in the 4th quarter of 2009 was 71.8 percent, down 1.6 percentage points from the corresponding period in 2008. Of the 19,000 reduction in the labor force, 11 000 were men. This makes the labor force participation among men 74.6 percent, and 68.9 percent among women.

A new industry classification was introduced as from the publication of the first quarter of 2009. Here is an article presenting general information about the new Norwegian industry classification.

Outside the labor force

From the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2009 the number of persons who are outside the labor force rose by 72,000. Of the increase, 32,000 report education as their main activity, while 31,000 give retirement as their main activity. Within the latter group, it is especially the age group 40-54 that distinguishes itself, with an increase of 13 000 from the 4th quarter of 2008; 10,000 of these are women.

Source: Statistics Norway

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