Even fewer unemployed in Norway

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The state agency in charge of unemployment benefits and assistance in Norway, NAV, reports what it calls “a clear reduction” in unemployment in January compared to a year ago. Fewer people are registering themselves as being without work and more jobs are being advertised, according to NAV officials.

NAV’s numbers reflect a nationwide unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent in Norway, with 81,300 persons officials out of work. That’s 500 fewer than in January of 2010, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Joakim Lystad, welfare director at NAV, told NRK that demand for workers has risen in recent weeks. “We’re now seeing a clear reduction in unemployement,” Lystad said.

The number of available jobs advertised in January rose by 5 percent over the same month last year, with the biggest increases coming in the construction industry. Newly educated engineers are once again reporting a jump in job offers, as are students graduating with degrees in information technology.

The amount of new available jobs in the public sector has declined, with teaching positions down 9 percent, for example. Industrial jobs have increased.

Unemployment has also declined among real estate brokers and consultants, with overall unemployment rates declining most in the counties of Finnmark and Nord-Trøndelag. The lowest unemployment rate was found in the counties of Sogn og Fjordane (2.4 percent) and Akershus (2.5 percent) with the highest in Aust-Agder (4 percent) and Østfold and Oslo at 3.9 percent.

State statistics bureau SSB was still reporting a nationwide unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, because it uses different calculations than NAV. SSB also reported higher industrial activity in Norway, however, with market conditions expected to continue improving.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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