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Employment in Norway - statistics & facts

The number of employed people generally saw a positive development in Norway since the 1990’s, except for two major events: the financial crisis in 2008 and the oil price collapse in 2014. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate has either remained unchanged or declined only slightly since the turn of the millennium. This is due to the fact that there are more and more elderly people in the Scandinavian country, as the oldest generation gradually make up a larger share of the Norwegian population.

So far in 2020, the number of employed individuals fluctuated between 2.82 million and 2.86 million. Most employees belonged to the private sector or public enterprises, counting over 1.7 million people in the same period. By comparison, around 850 thousand employees worked in the public sector, consisting of the local and central government. The local government occupied the most people, and it consists of a two tier-system: the municipalities and the county authorities. The central government, on the other hand, has the overriding authority and supervision of municipal and county municipal administration.

Norwegian salaries are high from a global perspective, and people working for the central government earn the highest monthly wages. In 2019, males earned 55,300 Norwegian kroner on a monthly average, while females earned 48,510 kroner. When looking at industries, employees in mining and quarrying earned the highest wages, reaching 74,600 Norwegian kroner that same year. By contrast, agriculture, forestry, and fishing recorded some of the lowest wages, with a monthly average of 38,830 kroner.

Despite earning some of the country’s lowest wages, employees in the aforementioned industries worked the most hours on average in the whole country. While a work week of 40 hours is the most common in Norway, employees in this sector worked close to 44 hours on a weekly average. The average actual weekly working hours amounted to 33.8 hours in 2019, which was the lowest number in ten years.

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Employment in Norway

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