Number of unemployment benefit recipients in Norway increased fivefold last year compared to 2019

NAV - unemployment - unemployedPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

Three million Norwegians were paid a total of NOK 500 billion in benefits and pensions in 2020. The number of unemployment benefit recipients is five times as high as in 2019.

Over 360,000 more recipients of unemployment benefits were registered in 2020 compared to 2019. Furthermore, the payments of unemployment benefits in 2020 were four times as high as the year before, the NAV’s disbursement statistics show.

“The NAV paid out about NOK 1 million every minute throughout last year. Even though about half went to old-age pension, increased unemployment benefit payments, in particular, contributed to the growth,” NAV chief Hans Christian Holte noted.

Highest payments in Inlanndet

On average, each inhabitant in Norway, regardless of age, received NOK 93,100 during last year, an increase of NOK 9,300 from 2019. Payments were highest in Inlanndet and Nordland and lowest in Rogaland and Oslo.

However, Oslo is the county with the largest increase from 2019. The increase there was 18%, while the increase was between 8–12% for the other counties.

“The situation in the labor market and demographics are two of the most important factors that explain the variations in payments,” Holte said.

Payments increased

The statistics include both payments to persons resident in Norway and persons resident abroad. In total, the NAV paid out NOK 510 billion. Just under NOK 10 billion was paid to people living abroad.

Payments to persons resident in Norway increased by 12% from 2019, and 55% of the population received a benefit from the NAV at least once during the year.

Seven out of ten recipients had foreign citizenship and received about half of the total payments abroad, which amounted to NOK 5.2 billion.

A total of NOK 2 billion of the sum was payments for old-age pensions to foreign nationals who have earned pension rights in Norway through previous work in the country.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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