60 per cent of immigrants are employed


More than 390 000 immigrants were employed in the 4th quarter of 2016. This group constituted 60.2 per cent of immigrants settled in Norway aged 15-74 years. In the rest of the population, the employment rate was 66.7 per cent. These rates have only declined marginally since 2015.

There are, however, large disparities among the immigrant groups. Immigrants from the EEA countries, who include large numbers of labour immigrants, have considerably higher rates than other immigrants. The employment rates among these groups in the 4th quarter of 2016 were as follows:

The Nordic countries: 72.6 per cent,
EU countries in Eastern Europe: 70.1 per cent
Western Europe: 67.2 per cent
Next we find immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU, North America/Oceania and Latin America, with shares in employment between 60 and 62 per cent. Asians, meanwhile, had a lower rate, at 52 per cent. As in earlier years, the African group had the lowest rate, at 42.3 per cent.

These disparities have been quite stable irrespective of economic cycles. Immigrants from Asia and Africa have larger shares of refugees than other groups, and many of them have a short time of residence in Norway.

With a longer time of residence, the employment level rises within most of the immigrant groups, but the disparities among the groups do not level out. Even among those with 10 years or more of residence in Norway, African immigrants have the lowest employment rate, with just over 50 per cent, which is more than 10 percentage points below the average for immigrants.

Limitation of age groups impacts the employment disparity
Statistics Norway’s labour market statistics cover the age population 15-74 years.

Within this age group there is a disparity of 6.5 percentage points in the employment rate between the immigrant and the non-immigrant population (i.e. the majority).

For the population aged 15-66 years, however, the disparity is greater, at 11.3 percentage points. This is due to an enhanced level of employment among the majority population when the oldest stratum is excluded from the calculation.

The majority population differs from the immigrant population, with a much larger share of people aged 67-74 years (11.4 versus 3.2 per cent). Within the most economically active age group, 25-54 years, which constitutes three-quarters of immigrants, the disparity is even greater at 16.4 percentage points.

Greater gender disparities among immigrants
The employment rate was 63.5 per cent among immigrant men versus 56.6 among immigrant women, i.e. a difference of 6.9 percentage points.

The corresponding disparity within the rest of the population was 3.6 percentage points; 68.5 per cent (men) versus 64.9 per cent (women).

However, some immigrant groups have much greater gender disparities than the immigrant average, for instance immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Turkey. On the other hand, the gender disparities among immigrants from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Serbia were similar to the majority.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents are between the majority and immigrants
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is still a rather small and young population group.

Almost half of them are below 23 years of age (within the 15-74 years population), and many will be in education and outside the labour force. Thus the employment rate will be considerably reduced when considering the group as a whole.

However, if we look at the more economically active age groups, 25-29 years and 30-39 years, the employment rates are 72 and 75.4 per cent respectively. This is 12 and 7.1 percentage points above the immigrants’ level, but 6.9 and 9.2 percentage points below the employment level in the rest of the population within the corresponding age groups.


Source: SSB / Norway Today