Working in Norway For Members

What is the outlook on Norway's labour market for foreigners beyond 2023?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
What is the outlook on Norway's labour market for foreigners beyond 2023?
Norwegian employers are reporting a shortage of (foreign) labour. Photo by Anatol Rurac on Unsplash

As Norway's labour landscape continues to change, the prospects for foreign job seekers beyond 2023 are gaining significant attention.


In Norway's dynamic job market, certain sectors are experiencing a surging demand for labour, while others are witnessing a shift in the balance.

Norway's position as an attractive destination for international talent seems to continue to hold strong – despite the recent surge in prices, weakening krone, and housing shortage.

READ MORE: Weak krone, soaring prices: Is Norway still an attractive country for foreign workers?

Parts of Norway's job market in large demand for labour

At the moment, Norwegian employers are reporting a shortage of (foreign) labour, although the situation isn't as bad as in 2022.

"The Norwegian employers are indeed reporting trouble finding labour, but less so than a year ago. According to the NAV's survey among Norwegian firms this spring, Norwegian firms had tried, but not succeeded, in hiring about 50,000 workers (compared to 70,000 a year ago)," Johannes Sørbø, a labour market expert at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), told The Local.

"Especially the health sector had a hard time finding enough labour, but also part of the manufacturing sector, construction, hotels, etc. This survey was conducted in February and March.

"Since then, unemployment has started to increase a bit, especially in the construction sector. Other parts of the labour market, however, are still in large demand for labour," Sørbø said.


In-demand professions

Although labour market shortages have improved slightly, the current level remains the highest for more than a decade, with the exception of 2019 and 2022.

Based on the aforementioned survey, health and care services face the most pressing labour shortage. This shortage also extends to craft and industrial roles, highlighting the need for specialised skills across industries in Norway.

READ MORE: Which professions are most in need in Norway in 2023?

While shortages have eased across much of the country, the Troms og Finnmark region remains an exception. In urban centres, Oslo and Øst-Viken are particularly affected by a lack of workers. 

As highlighted by the NAV survey, a range of occupational groups bear the brunt of the labour shortage. These include healthcare roles, store and sales staff, cooks, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and primary school teachers.


Opportunities in 2024 and beyond

Sørbø said he expects unemployment in Norway to increase in the years ahead and that people looking for a job in the country will likely encounter opportunities.

"We expect unemployment to increase a bit more in the year to come, but we still expect a good labour market for people who seek a job in the years to come. In some sectors, such as the health service, we expect the lack of labour to continue," he said.

The general manager of Relocation AS, a Norwegian company that supports foreign workers who move to Norway, Cynthia Myrnes, thinks the conditions and opportunities for skilled foreign workers looking to land a job in Norway will improve in the years ahead.

"Absolutely! Norway is in need of skilled workers, so authorities and businesses are working together to make it more attractive for foreigners to relocate to Norway," Myrnes told The Local.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also