Increase in immigrant unemployment

Registered unemployment among immigrants increased from 6.6 per cent in November 2009 to 7.1 per cent in November 2010. In the rest of the population, this rate increased slightly from 2.0 to 2.1 per cent.

The growth in the unemployment among immigrants has been relatively moderate in the past year compared to the strong increase in 2009. With regard to participants on ordinary labour market schemes, there is a decline among immigrants as well as the whole population.

Immigrants are defined as being born abroad by foreign-born parents, and they are all registered as residents in Norway. Among the registered unemployed, some non-registered residents are also included. These people are settled abroad and are expected to stay in Norway less than six months. This group is not included among the immigrants but is a part of the rest of the population. See the table below on this page for further information. The unemployment figures are based on the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation’s register of jobseekers and are calculated as a fraction of the labour force. Norwegian-born to immigrant parents (previously referred to as “descendants”) are not counted as immigrants.

Strongest increase among Africans

The unemployment rate among immigrants from Africa increased by 1.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2009 to 2010. The other immigrant groups had an increase below one percentage point. Most of the groups had a weaker growth in the unemployment rate than in the previous quarters.

Immigrants from Africa had the highest rate in the fourth quarter of 2010, at 13.4 per cent. Then came immigrants from the EU countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, with an unemployment rate of 8.6 and 8.3 per cent respectively. The groups from Eastern Europe outside the EU and Latin America both had a rate of 7.3 per cent. As usual, there is a gap to the groups from the Nordic countries and Western Europe, which have considerably lower unemployment rates; 3.0 and 3.2 per cent respectively.

The high level of unemployment among Africans is partly due to the dominance of refugees within this group. African immigrants have for several years had the highest registered unemployment rate irrespective of the economic cycles. With regard to the immigrants from the EU countries in Eastern Europe, their unemployment rate is caused by the declining economic cycles and the loss of jobs that many labour immigrants within the construction industry experienced during 2009. However, the unemployment growth within this group is much weaker now compared to 2009.

Slightly stronger growth among immigrant women

Immigrant women experienced a somewhat stronger growth in the unemployment rate than immigrant men; 0.8 versus 0.3 percentage points. Within the majority population, there was a slight growth among women of only 0.1 percentage point. Hence, these figures break the trend of the previous quarters when the growth among men was considerably stronger, both within the majority and the immigrant group.

However, the level of unemployment is still higher among men. Within the immigrant group, the rate was 7.7 per cent among men versus 6.4 per cent among women. In the rest of the population the unemployment rates were 2.5 and 1.7 per cent respectively.

Immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU, Asia#1, Africa, South and Central America and Oceania except Australia and New Zealand who are registered unemployed or participants in ordinary labour market schemes as a percentage of the population 15-74 years of age#2 by county of residence.

Moderate growth within the young population groups

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is still a rather small group of unemployed. This group constituted 784 registered unemployed in November 2010. The majority within this group are aged 15-29 years, and the unemployment rate among them was 5.3 per cent, which was 1.7 percentage points higher than the corresponding age group in the majority population (at 3.6 per cent), but 2.5 percentage points below the immigrant group at the same age (at 7.8 per cent). Among these three young population groups, the immigrants had the strongest growth in the unemployment rate of 0.4 percentage points. All three groups had a weaker growth compared to the previous quarters.

Still growth among unemployed not registered as residents

A total of 1 764 of the unemployed were not registered as residents in Norway in the fourth quarter of 2010. Of these non-residents, 873 were citizens from the EU countries in Eastern Europe and 398 were from the Nordic countries. The group of unemployed non-residents has expanded by 27.6 per cent since the fourth quarter of 2009, when it constituted 1 382 people. As much as 84 per cent of the non-residents in the fourth quarter of 2010 were men.

Decrease among participants on labour market schemes

The number of immigrants on ordinary labour market schemes (job programmes) decreased from

8 150 in November 2009 to 6 410 in November 2010. Among non-immigrants, the number of participants declined from 13 568 to 9 035 participants. In total, 15 445 people participated in labour market schemes, of which immigrants constituted 41.5 per cent. Among the immigrant participants, 67 per cent came from Africa or Asia.

Source: Statistics Norway

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