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Working in Norway: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points

Find out all the latest information related to jobs in Norway with The Local's weekly roundup of relevant news. And take part in this week's readers' poll.

Working in Norway: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points
This is what changed in the job market in Norway. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Drop in unemployment in Norway in July

Monthly figures from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) have revealed that the number of job seekers in Norway fell to just shy of 150,000. 

Overall, unemployment fell by 5,500 compared to June when adjusted for seasonal variations.

According to NAV, the drop in the number of job seekers in July is due to the easing of pandemic restrictions. 

“The decline in the number of jobseekers continued in July, in line with the softening of infection control measures,” Director of Labour and Welfare at NAV, Hans Christian Holte, said in a statement

Around 3.5 percent of Norway’s workforce is currently unemployed. 

READ ALSO: Nine tips for finding a job in Norway

The industries that saw the most significant reductions in unemployment were the travel and tourism sectors, and the area to receive the biggest boost in employment in July was Oslo. 

Live events industry suffering shortages following mass exodus 

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, almost one-fifth of all stage technicians in Norway have left the industry since March 2020. 

Now those in still working in the sector are worried that should Norway lift all measures, live events would face a massive shortage of technicians.

Figures from the Industry Association for Stage Production (BFSP) revealed that 19.4 of all permanent employees had left the industry since March last year. 

“I think everyone in the industry lost their spark during the lockdown. It is difficult to go without work for such long periods,” Morten Buvik, general manager of the Sound Team in Bodø, Northern Norway, told trade union newspaper Klassekampen.

Top Norwegian firm offering letters of recommendations to unsuccessful applicants 

One of Norway’s most prestigious firms is offering some applicants who get to the final round of the interview process, but aren’t selected, letters of recommendation to help them in their job hunt. 

Norges Bank Investment Management, which handles Norway’s oil fund or, Government Pension Fund, will offer applicants who make it to the final interview stage of its graduate scheme letters of recommendation to help them in their job hunt.  

Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, has said the move was inspired by a zoo in Kristiansand, Southern Norway, which offers all applicants who didn’t make the final cut a letter of recommendation to help them in the job-hunting process. 

In a post on LinkedIn, Tangen said that he hoped this would help empower young job seekers.

Norway’s sixth richest man says wealth tax will put companies off employing more people

Salmon baron and Norway’s sixth richest man, Gustav Witzøe, has warned against a wealth tax proposed under a potential red-green coalition.

Witzøe, the owner of Salmar, one of the worlds largest salmon breeders, has said that the proposed tax will put wealthy owners off from expanding their companies workforces. 

“It depletes the company of resources- which prevents you from preserving jobs or developing new ones. It does not make sense,” he told financial site E24.

The proposal from Norway’s red and green parties would see ultra wealthy individuals subject to much higher taxes than they currently are.

Witzøe said that this tax would also put Norway at a disadvantage on the world stage and said he would consider moving his company’s head offices to London or Cyprus, where taxes are lower. 

Readers’ Poll

Should foreign workers in Norway join a union?

Take a few seconds to share your views with our readers. We’ll publish the results in next week’s round up of jobs news.

More than half of workplaces inspected in Norway are in breach of the Working Environment Act 

More than half of the 5,000 workplaces union LO have inspected this summer have revealed a breach of the Working Environment Act. 

This summer, 58 percent of all premises inspected have been found to be breaking employment rules. 

The reason for this, according to the union, is due to the Covid-19 epidemic in Norway. 

“A year with many unemployed and laid-off people can probably lead to many accepting worse working conditions than they are entitled to, Bjarne Lagesen” from LO told online news site Nettavisen.

Young people, particularly, have fallen prey to shoddy work practices. Every sixth summer employee under the age of 18 is working without a contract. In addition, the union has seen an increase in the number of employers monitoring employees with cameras with workers permission.

Did you know?

Norway doesn’t actually have a national minimum wage. But that does not mean your employer can get away with paying you whatever they want.

While wages in Norway are respectable, people who have recently moved to the country may be surprised to learn that there is no official general minimum wage.

Instead, wages tend to be agreed though negotiations between trade unions and individual employers or employer organisations (tariffavtale). In Norway, a country of about 5 million people, 1.4 million workers were covered by a tariff agreement in 2015, according to data from Statistics Norway.

In addition, the tariff agreement also regulates working hours, overtime, holidays, pensions and rules regarding temporary layoffs.

For more on this read: Why Norway doesn’t have a national minimum wage and how fair pay is ensured

Useful links

Below you’ll find a couple of useful articles, guides and resources put together by The Local which cover key aspects of working life in Norway. 

What are the perks of working in Norway?

Five things foreigners should know about income tax in Norway

Is this useful?

Please get in touch with me at [email protected] to let me know if this weekly feature is useful and any suggestions you have for jobs related articles on The Local Norway.

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What you need to know about summer and seasonal jobs in Norway 

Norway's economy is doing well, unemployment is at record-low levels, and figures show the demand for seasonal workers is high. Here's what you need to know about summer and seasonal jobs.

What you need to know about summer and seasonal jobs in Norway 

Norway has made a strong recovery from the pandemic. The economy is strong, and unemployment is at an almost 14-year low. Companies are struggling to find labour, and competition for workers is fierce

With all the current buzz around labour shortages in Norway, it’s no wonder that the interest in job opportunities in the country is rising.

“The job market is really good now; the chances of getting a job – if you want to work – are excellent. Opportunities and the number of jobs tend to follow big cities – Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger. These are all cities where we’re looking for people,” head of information Sven Fossum at ManpowerGroup Norge, a leading workforce solutions company working in the country, told The Local.

Is there a difference between summer and seasonal jobs? 

Many may think that summer and seasonal jobs are interchangeable, but that’s not quite the case. A seasonal job in Norway is one that can only be done at a specific time of the year. For example, working a winter at a ski resort or a summer picking fruit are seasonal jobs. 

Whereas many companies in Norway offer contracts specifically for the summer to cover for holidaying staff or due to business being busier during the winter months. These aren’t seasonal jobs as they can mostly be done all year round. Summer jobs are available in a much wider variety of industries than seasonal ones too.

Although, there are some jobs that can only be done during the warmer months that may be classed as a summer job for example. Jobs like lifeguarding, working in hospitality at summer venues are examples of summer jobs that aren’t quite considered seasonal jobs.  

Another difference is that with a seasonal job you’ll mostly be competing with other foreigners to get a job, however you’ll typically be going head-to-head with more Norwegians for a summer job.  

Where is there a demand for workers to work in seasonal and summer jobs? 

There is a demand for people in several industries – call centres, logistics, sales, IT… Really, there’s a lot of possibilities,” Fossum noted, adding that there is demand year-round and that, at times, there’s no benefit to distinguishing between summer jobs and ordinary jobs.

“Our clients do have extra need for workers in the summer, but the jobs are the same all year round. Banks and call centers are typical examples of industries looking for workers at the moment.

“Many big companies need people to work in restaurants and hotels in Norway. Look at media reports; there’s a shortage of workers in these industries. These opportunities will also be here during the winter.”

When to start applying for summer jobs

When looking for a summer job in Norway, you should begin the search while it’s still winter. Large Norwegian corporates like Telenor and big banks like DNB like to start planning positions early, so recruitment for jobs begins early. According to Fossum, people should start looking for jobs in February. 

“You will be able to find jobs as early as February. When it comes to Manpower, you can register at our homepage and start looking for opportunities on our pages quite early,” the ManpowerGroup Norge recruitment expert stated.

What about the winter? 

Applications tend to open in September and will run through to the beginning of November for seasonal winter jobs in Norway. 

Outside of the cities and in smaller places, such as some of Norway’s most popular ski resorts, contacting the hotels, restaurants and resorts directly via phone or email to enquire about the possibility of applying for a job or any potential vacancies is one of the best bets for securing a job. September and October are usually the best times to start this process as businesses begin planning for the winter ahead.

READ MORE: How to find a winter sports job in Norway

You may need to be flexible when applying for summer jobs

Furthermore, Fossum believes people looking for jobs in Norway next summer should be flexible. 

“Be flexible when it comes to when you can and can’t work. Many jobs are getting more complex, and we need to invest in training for them. Some jobs have training periods early in the summer, at the end of May, or the beginning of June. It’s important that you as a worker can be present for the training. 

“I would also say that people who are able to work the whole summer will get ahead. If you don’t really have to, don’t ask for three weeks of vacation in the middle of summer. That’s a major part of the reason why there’s high labour demand in the summer – companies need people to cover for absent workers. If possible, try to plan a late vacation instead,” Fossum recommends.

Summer job advice for students

If you’re studying in Norway, a relevant summer job could be a precious addition to your CV later on.

“Every student in Norway stands to benefit from a relevant summer job on the side; having that in your CV means a lot later on. It shows you’re more than just a good student – you’re able to work and can be relied upon. So, if you’re studying in Norway, try and find a summer job,” Fossum concluded.