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Employment in Norway - statistics & facts

Norway is considered to be an attractive country to live and work in due to its high salaries, low unemployment rates, and high level of work-life balance. The country with roughly 5.4 million inhabitants is not a member of the European Union, but is a part of the European Economic Area (EEA), meaning that people from other EEA countries can live and work in Norway without applying for a visa or a residence permit.

Looking at the specific numbers, there were around 2.9 million people employed in Norway at the end of 2021. Of these, most were employed in the private sector and public enterprises. Considering specific industries, the largest number of people worked within human health and social work activities. Furthermore, unemployment rates are the lowest in the Nordic region, despite increasing somewhat after the outbreak of COVID-19. The unemployment rate is low among both genders, but slightly higher among men.

High salaries

Norwegian salaries are high in a global perspective, and one of the highest in Europe. The highest average salaries are found within mining and quarrying, which also is the industry with the second highest number of average weekly working hours. Moreover, men earn more than women across all sectors, and women earn just above 40 percent of the total earnings in the country. The reasons for this are complex, but a major cause is that women tend to work in industries such as human health and social activities, where salaries are lower than in the industries typically dominated by men.

Working hours and working conditions

Norwegian working life is known for its work-life balance. Indeed, the number of average weekly working hours in the country is among the lowest of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, job satisfaction levels have been constantly high over the past 20 years. Despite this, the share of people reporting work-related health problems was slightly higher in Norway than the EU average, but significantly lower than in the Nordic neighbors Finland and Sweden. Finally, Norway's working life is considered to have a relatively high degree of safety for employees, underlined by a low share of temporary contracts compared to other European countries.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Employment in Norway".


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