40,000 oil jobs have gone, and there is an urgency to create new jobs, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
But she believes their policy measures regarding unemployment for next year is sufficient – for now.
The government has set aside 4 billion for 2017 in the fight against rising unemployment in its budget.
– The estimate is that unemployment has slowed and will stay flat next year, and that we will then start to see a turning point. We will however always reconsider if there is enough activity when it comes to the revised national budget , she says to news agency NTB.
The negotiations around the Government’s 2017 budget starts on Wednesday , and the revised budget won’t come until May next year.
– Must tread carefully
Solberg recalls that she had feared that unemployment would spread to other parts of the country apart from the South and West , and create greater challenges.
– But the opposite has happened – it has been very concentrated on those areas, she says.
The registered Nav unemployment figures are now at 2.8 percent, while Statistics Norway’s workforce survey shows an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.
Solberg warns nevertheless against believing that the danger is over.
– We must tread carefully, because we are very dependent on international economic conditions, exchange rate and demand in other countries.
She believes the challenge for Norway is twofold: We must create more jobs, and they must be created in the private sector and in areas other than in the export-oriented oil industry, which is on its way down.
Although unemployment has risen, Solberg reminds us that there is also created many new jobs.
– The main challenge is that we fail to deliver enough new jobs to keep up with the changes in demographics. We have not managed that since 2011, she said.
Green restructuring and increased competitiveness is central to the Norwegian program for the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, which Solberg presented in Copenhagen today.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today