For members


Jobs news in Norway: Unemployment down with more low-paid workers in private sector

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 shrinking unemployment and an increase in low-paid workers. 

Find out about a decrease in unemployment, and more in this weeks working life roundup.
Find out about a decrease in unemployment, and more in this weeks working life roundup. Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

Last call for winter sports jobs

We’re starting this week’s roundup with a reminder that time to secure a winter job in Norway is running out. 

Most large resorts and businesses have opened for applications, and many will be finalising their plans for the upcoming winter season. 

Depending on snow production, most jobs will begin in November, either towards the beginning or the end of the month. 

You can read our guide on how to bag a winter sports job here. If you want more specific information on how each resort hires, then check out their individual websites. Hemsedal, for example, has its own web page on seasonal work in the village.

Decline in the proportion of unemployed

Unemployed people made up 4.2 percent of the potential labour force in Norway in July, according to recent figures from Statistics Norway.

This is a drop of 0.6 percent compared to April when the country was at the peak of a Covid-19 wave, and hospitality and shops in parts of the country were shut. 

Almost a of third workers in the private sector is low-paid

Just under one-third of workers in Norway’s private sector is considered low-paid, according to a report from research foundation Fafo.

The number of low-paid workers is increasing, particularly in construction and catering. Between 2008 and 2018, the proportion of lowly paid workers rose from 25.6 percent to 31.6 percent. 

Fafo categorised a low-paid worker as anybody who earned less than 85 percent of what an average industrial worker does. 

Centre Party and trade union leaders outline changes they want to make to working life

Centre Party veteran Per Olaf Lundgeiten and trade union leader Jørn Eggum sat down with newspaper VG to debate changes they want to make to working life in Norway. 

The pair said there should be a focus on getting young people into work and creating jobs in rural areas. Making practical jobs more attractive to young people was one incentive they said should be prioritised. 

“Young people are wise and see what the opportunities are in working life. If they see that there are good job opportunities, they will take the necessary practical education,” Lundteigen explained. 

The two also said they would cut down on labour immigration in several industries by increasing wages and making jobs in sectors where immigrants make up the majority of the workforce more attractive to Norwegians. 

He said that by increasing wages for some professions such as agriculture and fishing, consumers should be prepared to pay more money for food. 

“We have to be honest about it. We will get more expensive food. And increased transfers in the agricultural settlement,” Eggum said. 

Did you know?

According to Statistics Norway, people living in Norway spend 22 percent of their net monthly income on housing, 15 percent on transportation, 11 percent on food and alcohol-free beverages, and 3 percent on health-related expenditures. Together this amounts to 51 percent of total income.

Cost of living: What do workers in Norway spend their salaries on?

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.

What you need to know about setting up as a freelancer in Norway

How to get a work permit 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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For members


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.