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

Every week The Local brings you a roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points related to working life in Norway. This week we're looking at election promises and what they mean for you, an increase in jobs and the results of last week's poll.

Working in Norway: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points
Here's this week's roundup of working life. Photo by Mario Gogh on Unsplash

Conservatives pledge to create more private-sector jobs

As part of its seven election promises, the Conservative Party has pledged to increase the number of private-sector jobs in Norway should they get re-elected. 

The majority of foreign residents working in Norway are employed in the private sector, so more jobs in this sphere should come as welcome news if Solberg can make good on the promise. 

One of the strategies the Conservatives will employ to ensure more jobs in the private sector is to scrap a wealth tax on working capital. You can read about the wealth tax here in last week’s roundup and why salmon baron and Norway’s sixth richest man, Gustav Witzøe, is opposed to it. 

READ ALSO: What Erna Solberg’s seven election promises mean for foreign residents in Norway

Labour promises to cut the number of part-time jobs

Labour has pledged, if it is elected, to cut the number of part-time jobs in Norway and ensure that more people are entitled to full-time and permanent positions. 

“We must change the legislation so it is clearer that you are entitled to a full and permanent position,” party secretary Kjersti Stenseng told VG earlier this week. 

There are 500,000 part-time workers in Norway. Many of them work more than one part-time job. 

Under the Labour pledge, it will be down to employers to prove why a part-time position is more relevant to the employee than a permanent full-time one. 

Just under half think they are more effective working from home than in the office

A survey carried out by the Norwegian Property Association has revealed that almost half of the respondents, regardless of age, think they concentrate better while working from home. 

Additionally, 75 percent said that their creativity and their interaction with colleagues has decreased. Half also said that they believe professional development had deteriorated.

Number of new jobs increases 

In the last two months, the number of jobs in Norway has increased by just over 45,000, according to figures from Statistics Norway.

Overall, jobs are up 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year. 

The rise comes after four months of job losses from January through till May.  

Accommodation and catering saw the most significant increase in the number of new jobs. From May to June, 15,000 new jobs were created in this sector. However, despite the rise in jobs, the industry is still to return to pre-pandemic levels. There are still 24 percent fewer jobs in the sector compared to June 2019. 

Poll: Should foreigners in Norway join a union? 

The answer, according to those who responded to the survey, is a resounding yes. 

A smidge under 80 percent of all people who answered the poll on Twitter said that foreign workers should join a union, while just over 20 percent said they shouldn’t. 

Those who responded to the survey in the article were even more encouraging to the idea of foreign workers joining a union in Norway. 

Just over 88 percent of those who responded to the survey said foreign workers should join a union, while 11.8 percent said they shouldn’t. 

One reader who responded to the survey shared their experience of joining a union in Norway and how it benefited them. 

“I had received one pay rise in 6 years before joining a union, which nowhere near covered inflation. Every time I asked, the company blamed various factors. Since I joined a union this year, they have negotiated two pay rises on my behalf fair to inflation,” The user who preferred to remain anonymous said.

Foreign workers in Norway have the same rights to join a union as Norwegian workers. To join a union, you must pay your tax-deductible dues. 

In Norway, trade union federations come to national collective agreements with employers in many industries as there is no minimum wage. This is one of the ways a fair salary is ensured despite there being no minimum wage. 

Did you know? 

Tax returns in Norway are public. It’s true. How much you make for the year and how much you pay in taxes is open information for the public to find out. Norway brings transparency to a new level when it comes to personal finances.

Sverre Solberg, general manager at Trondheim co-working space Work-Work, explained the reasoning for this to Forbes, saying, “as a social democracy, we don’t want there to be a huge gap between the rich and the poor. An open tax return policy shows everyone how big that gap is, making it easier to discuss and address.”

For more on this read: Five things foreigners should know about income tax in Norway

Useful links

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

Taxes in Norway: Everything you need to know about how much tax people pay

Do you really need to speak Norwegian to work 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.