Norway’s state welfare agency NAV has reported a slight decline in the numbers of Norwegians registered as out of work and applying for unemployment assistance. It’s not the first time NAV’s numbers have conflicted with those of state statistics bureau SSB, which just reported an unexpected rise in unemployment.
While SSB reported that unemployment rose to 3.8 percent in July, NAV put the jobless rate at just 2.2 percent after 400 fewer people were registered as receiving financial aid in September. While NAV only counts those registered as unemployed, SSB’s figures also include those seeking work but who have not registered as unemployed with NAV or sought assistance.
SSB counted 109,000 Norwegians as unemployed in July (3.8 percent of the workforce), while NAV counted 61,300 registered as unemployed at the end of September. Some argue that SSB’s numbers are more realistic and that NAV’s numbers put a more favourable impression on the job market.