The number of Norwegians officially unemployed has fallen by another 20,000 during the past 12 months. That brought Norway’s jobless rate down to just 3.7 percent, according to new numbers from the labour survey AKU (Arbeidskraftundersøkelsen).
State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) reported that the jobless number fell by 7,000 people from January 1 to April 1, adjusted for seasonal variation. That yielded a 0.4 percent increase in the numbers of people employed during the first quarter.
The number of those registered through state welfare agency NAV and seeing unemployment benefits declined by 3,000 during the first quarter as well. That’s in line with expectations based on a rebound in business activity in Norway since oil prices collapsed in 2014.
With prices for Norway’s North Sea crude climbing to nearly USD 80 a barrel, the economic outlook remains bright in the country. The jobless rate has fallen from 5.1 percent in the winter of 2016, when unemployment topped out, to the current 3.7 percent. State officials have already begun worrying about a labour shortage in Norway as unemployment continues to decline.