Both Norway’s employers’ organization NHO and its largest trade union confederation LO are warning against getting too optimistic about the decline in unemployment. A downturn in new job creation means overall employment is down as well.
“These numbers can look good,” Øystein Dørum, chief economist at NHO, told news burean ANB after the latest unemployment figures from state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) showed another decline, to 4.2 percent.
“But you don’t have to dig very deep into the numbers before you see that the reason unemployment is falling is not because there are more jobs. On the contrary, the total number of jobs has declined the past few months, too.”
LO is also warning that the Conservative government shouldn’t be boasting about the lower jobless numbers, and criticized it for failing to spur more job creation. That will be one of the biggest issues in the upcoming national election in September.
LO warns that more people are “giving up” and dropping out of the job market. NHO is not as pessimistic but cautions that Norway is still in a difficult economic situation following the oil price collapse that led to a major downturn in the country’s biggest industry, oil and gas.