Bleak prospects for the Norwegian labour market

OsloOslo.Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB scanpix

Norwegian employers expect staff reductions to continue as a result of the Corona crisis. Today’s record high unemployment figure seems to be continuing throughout the autumn.

This was revealed in ManpowerGroup’s third-quarter labour market survey, presented on Tuesday. 418 Norwegian companies participated in the survey, which was conducted in late April.

The results show that there are more employers planning to reduce staffing than those planning to increase it.

The seasonally adjusted staffing outlook is minus 7 per cent, That is the proportion expecting increased staffing minus the proportion expecting staffing to go down. These are the weakest results since the survey began 17 years ago.

The crisis will affect us for a long time

The Corona crisis has triggered a historically high unemployment rate in Norway, and the latest figures from Nav show that around 340,000 unemployed are registered in the country.

It is a serious and unclear situation for the Norwegian work market, which will feel the consequences of the Corona crisis for a long time, says ManpowerGroup CEO Maalfrid Brath.

– Unfortunately, our results indicate that the labour market will not normalise immediately. Although some sectors stand out, the general picture is that the demand for labour will be low over the summer, she says.

Worst for the hotel and restaurant industry
Nearly six out of ten employers responded that they do not know when they will be back to a normal situation. Nearly half say their business had been adversely affected by the Corona pandemic.

The hotel and restaurant industry is the worst affected in the survey, and the sector’s staffing prospects are minus 39 per cent.

The only two industries with positive staffing prospects are the retail trade and the construction industry. Both have prospects of plus 4 per cent. However, the latter sector had a prospect of plus 42 per cent in the previous quarter.

The coastal regions are hit the hardest

On a nationwide basis, the coastal regions in the South-west and Northern Norway are the ones with the highest employment reductions. The outlook here is at minus 12 and minus 16 per cent respectively. In Greater Oslo and Central Norway, the outlook is minus 1 per cent.

Eastern Norway is just holding – as the only region – their head over water, with staffing prospects of plus 1 per cent.

Before the Corona pandemic hit Norway, the labour market was at its most optimistic for eight years, with employment prospects of plus 16 per cent. The same figure is now minus 7 percent.

– No rocking the boat

On Monday, the World Bank stated that the Corona pandemic has caused the largest and most extensive economic collapse since 1870. The collapse comes despite huge crisis packages and generous support schemes worldwide.

Here in Norway, the government is spending billions of kroner in an attempt to overcome the Corona crisis, but the Norwegian workforce is facing its greatest unemployment prospect since the Second World War.

ManpowerGroup’s CEO Maalfrid Brath believes that Norwegian employers now don’t want to rock the boat.

– Although there are good growth opportunities in the long term and many highly qualified candidates who are now unemployed, only a few will want to take this chance to grow, she says.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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