Half of the refugees in Norway are employed

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Only half of refugees aged 25 to 54 in Norway are working. For the overall population in the same age group, eight out of ten are employed.

The employment rate is 53.3 per cent among refugees in the 25 to 54 age group. For the entire population, just shy of 80 percent are working, i.e. a difference of 26.6 percentage points. This is shown by figures Statistics Norway (SSB) released on Wednesday.


Family members of refugees, who have been granted stay, are included in the number. The survey was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Education important

The resident period in Norway is very important for the employment level. Refugees with a residence period of between 7 and 19 years have an employment rate of 50 to 53 percent, were as the group who has lived for at least 20 years in Norway has an employment rate close to 60 percent.

The age when people came to Norway is also a significant factor. Seven out of ten in the group who were younger than 19 when they arrived, are working after living for 20 years or more in Norway.

The level of education is also important. Those who have only primary school have decidedly the lowest proportion of employed persons regardless of background.

Since more than half of refugees only have primary education, this group drags the average down. Refugees who has completed higher education, whether from abroad or Norway, have an employment rate only slightly lower than the overall population.

 People from Sri Lanka top the list

Among the refugees from Somalia three out of four has either no education or only primary school, followed by refugees from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Myanmar with about 70 percent belonging to this category. Among the Somalis and Afghans, about one in ten has absolutely no education at all, according to Statistics Norway.

Refugees from Sri Lanka have the highest employment rate, almost 70 percent. People from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Chile are also for the most part employed, with well over six out of ten having more than basic education. Among Somalis, 30 per cent are employed, Iraqis 43 percent, and for the Syrians, the proportion is only 18 percent.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today