The proportion of completely unemployed rises to 2.6 per cent in January, following the infection control measures introduced in December. – Clearly lower than feared by Norges Bank, says economist, who expects a continued rise in interest rates.
The case is being updated
At the end of January, 74,100 were completely unemployed, according to Nav. This corresponds to 2.6 per cent of the labor force, and is the highest since August last year.
In advance, it was expected to rise to 2.7 percent in January, from 2.2 percent in December, according to Bloomberg.
– Both the wage support scheme and subsequent easing of infection control measures led to fewer jobseekers than omikron would otherwise have provided. In addition, several of those who were completely laid off have started working a bit again, says Nav director Hans Christian Holte.
The preliminary weekly figures from Nav showed an increase to 2.7 in week 3. This is the highest level since August last year.
Including the partially unemployed and jobseekers on measures, there are 126,100 unemployed, which constitutes 4.5 per cent of the labor force.
Highest unemployment in tourism and transport
In January, the proportion of completely unemployed is highest in tourism and transport, with 6.9 per cent of the labor force, and lowest in teaching and academic professions, both with 0.7 per cent.
The largest increase in unemployment was in Oslo, which also has the largest share of the unemployed at 3.5 per cent. The lowest proportion of the completely unemployed is in the Inland, Troms and Finnmark, Nordland and Trøndelag with 2.1 per cent.
Unemployment fell over the autumn of last year in line with the reopening of society, but after new infection records and stricter infection control measures in December, many companies announced new redundancy rounds.
Half of the new jobseekers in January state redundancy as the reason for registering, compared with 36 per cent in December.
A total of 26,200 people have been laid off, corresponding to 0.9 per cent of the labor force. In January, the laid off accounted for 21 per cent of those registered as jobseekers.
Unemployment is increasing most among young people
In the last month, the number of jobseekers has increased the most among those under the age of 20, followed by those between the ages of 30 and 49. The number of jobseekers has decreased among those older than 50 years.
The proportion of completely unemployed is now highest in the age group 20–24 years, with 3.8 per cent of the labor force, and lowest for those under 20, with 1.7 per cent.
During January, 70,100 new vacancies were registered with Nav. That is 23 percent more than at the same time last year.
When the pandemic hit Norway, unemployment rose sharply to a peak of over ten percent at the beginning of April 2020. Including the partially unemployed and people on measures, Nav registered at most 433,000 unemployed, corresponding to just over 15 percent of the workforce.
– Interest up
Handelsbanken’s chief economist Marius Gonsholt Hov points out that the increase is minimal when adjusting for normal seasonal variations. With such an adjustment, unemployment rises to 2.4 per cent from 2.3 in December, which was the lowest level since before the pandemic.
– Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is clearly lower than feared by Norges Bank. Interest rates up, he writes in a comment.
Developments in unemployment are an important factor in Norges Bank’s interest rate setting. Last week, the bank announced a new interest rate hike in March.
The bank then expected that the increase in unemployment would be temporary and limited by the government’s wage support scheme, and that the infection would gradually decrease and the measures eased, so that the economic upswing could continue.