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WORKING IN NORWAY

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.

Pictured are people at work.
Here's what you need to know about summer and seasonal jobs in Norway. Pictured are people at work. Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

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. 

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WORKING IN NORWAY

What is Norway’s job market like for foreigners at the moment?

Currently, unemployment in Norway is at a very low level - but does that mean there are more job opportunities for foreigners in the country? 

What is Norway’s job market like for foreigners at the moment?

Unemployment in Norway remains at the low level of 2.6 percent of the workforce, according to the latest figures published by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) for August,

At the end of the previous month, there were 76,900 registered fully and partially unemployed workers, as well as people looking for jobs receiving assistance from the NAV. 

Some Norwegian media commentators and politicians have openly stated that this is a fantastic opportunity to have more people enter the workforce.

In early September, Labour and Inclusion Minister Marte Mjøs Persen stated that employers should make use of the “particularly favourable times” and include “vulnerable groups in the work life.” 

According to Mjøs Persen, employers should pay particular attention to applicants with somewhat different skill and experience profiles. 

Should employers in Norway take heed of the minister’s words, this year could offer substantial opportunities for international workers looking to find a job in the country. 

READ ALSO: Why you should learn Norwegian even if you don’t need it for work

NAV: 2022 is a good year for foreigners seeking work in Norway

The Labour and Inclusion Minister is backed in her assessment by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, which believes this is a good year for foreigners looking for work opportunities in Norway.

“Developments in the Norwegian labour market this year are good for foreigners seeking work. The demand for labour is very high, and the unemployment rate is very low. 

“In fact, the unemployment rate has not been as low as it is now since before the financial crisis in 2008. In 2022, there has been a very high number of vacancies available for jobseekers,” Johannes Sørbø, a Senior Adviser at the Directorate of Labour, told The Local.

Furthermore, Sørbø pointed out that many different industries are looking for workers.

“There is a significant labour shortage in the health sector; skilled nurses, in particular, are in demand. There is also a labour shortage in the building and construction industry, especially in carpentry and other skilled workers in general. 

“Other occupations with a shortage (of labour) include cooks and ICT (information and communication technology) and -related professions,” the Senior Adviser noted.

Stormy skies ahead?

Despite the currently encouraging situation in Norway’s job market, it seems that the positive trend might be short-lived, as several indicators point to adverse developments in the years ahead.

In September, NAV director Hans Christian Holte warned that the decline in unemployment might soon stop and that unemployment had already somewhat increased among young people in August.

On the other hand, Statistics Norway (SSB) also recently updated its economic forecast. In June, the SSB estimated that the Norwegian economy would go through a period of growth during the year. 

Now, as the overall situation in the economy has worsened, it believes that Norway is moving toward a recession – most likely within a period of several years – due to inflation, interest rate increases, and international factors. 

According to NTB, the national statistics bureau believes that the Norwegian economy will continue to grow during the expected recession but warns that economic activity is likely to decrease, which typically leads to higher unemployment.  

Furthermore, it predicts unemployment will increase to 4.2 percent in 2025 – a marked increase compared to the current unemployment levels. 

However, not all is negative in the SSB’s new forecast, as the bureau predicts that the increased unemployment and lower economic growth might lead to Norges Bank lowering interest rates at the end of 2023.

READ MORE: Could a recession be on the cards for Norway?

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