Norway - Unemployment

Norway: Unemployment

Mnemonic LBU.INOR
Unit Ths. 3-mo. MAVG, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted
Monthly 1.85 %
Data Feb 2019 106
Jan 2019 108

Series Information

Source Statistics Norway
Release Employment - Labor Force Survey (M)
Frequency Monthly
Start Date 1/31/1980
End Date 2/28/2019

Norway: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Labor Force Feb 2019 2,817 2,811 Ths. 3-mo. MAVG, SA Monthly
Labor Force Employment Feb 2019 2,711 2,704 Ths. 3-mo. MAVG, SA Monthly
Unemployment Feb 2019 106 108 Ths. 3-mo. MAVG, SA Monthly
Unemployment Rate Feb 2019 3.8 3.8 % of Labor Force 3-mo. MAVG, SA Monthly
Agriculture Employment 2017 57,611 57,869 # Annual

Release Information

The main purpose of the survey is to provide data on employment and unemployment, and data on the labour force participation in different sections of the population. The Norwegian LFS started in 1972. For information about the history of the survey, and about breaks in the time-series, please cf. Labour Force Survey 2001 (NOS C748).

For complete detail on the quarterly data, see:, and for the monthly:

The LFS is quarterly and annual, but monthly publishing of some key figures is seasonally adjusted (averages of the last three months). Because of uncertainty, Statistics Norway normally compares the latest non-overlapping three-month periods. Quarterly figures are normally published five weeks after the end of the quarter.

The LFS only includes persons who are registered as residents in the population register. Persons working in Norway who are not registered as permanent residents or who are planning to stay for less than six months are not included in the employment figure in the LFS.  Conversely, in national accounts figures, employed non-residents are included in the employment figure as long as they work in an establishment in Norway. Statistics Norway publishes separate figures for all registered non-residents once a year.


The industrial classification is in accordance with the Standard Industrial Classification (NOS D 383), which is based on the EU-standard of NACE Rev. 2.

The occupational classification is based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations 2008 (ISCO-08). The Norwegian standard has been named STYRK-08 (Notater 17/2011). 

The educational classification is in accordance with the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NOS C617).


Concepts and definitions are in accordance with recommendations given by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and EU/Eurostat.

According to the international recommendations persons above a specified age should be classified by their attachment to the labour market in a specified, short period, either a day or a week. In the Norwegian LFS the reference period is one week, and the sample of persons are classified in relation to their situation in that reference week.

Employed persons
Persons aged 16-74 (previously 15-74) who performed work for pay or profit for at least one hour in the reference week, or who were temporarily absent from work because of illness, holidays etc. Conscripts are classified as employed persons. Persons engaged by government measures to promote employment are also included if they receive wages.
Unemployed persons
Were not employed in the reference week, but who had been seeking work during the preceding four weeks, and were available for work in the reference week or within the next two weeks.
Labor force
The sum of those employed and unemployed between 16-74 years of age. The remaining group of persons is labelled not in the labor force.
Man-hours worked
Include all actual working hours, i.e. including overtime and excluding absence from work.
Settled/usual working hours
The weekly number of working hours determined by the working contract. Absence from work because of illness, holidays etc. is not subtracted, and overtime is not included.
This distinction is based on the settled/usual working hours. Part-time: 1-36 hours, with exception of persons with 30-36 hours who classify themselves as full-time employed. Full-time: 37 hours and over, and the cases mentioned above. For persons with multiple jobs, the working hours in the main and the second job are summarized.

In the 2006 the LFS was revised to be in accordance with EU requirements per new ILO recommendations. Two definitions changed: "age" changed from "completed years at end of year" to "completed years at time of reference week," and the lower age limit changed from 16 to 15. These changes caused breaks in the time series.

The monthly figures are seasonally-adjusted three-month averages, and are re-estimated each month.  The entire length of each time series, back to 1997, is subject to revision.

Man-weeks worked by sex (series LWQMW(T,M,F)UQ.INOR) were revised at 2010 Q3 back to 2009 Q2.