Norway’s Workforce Shortage Increases

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Norwegian workforce shortage in Norway

The Norwegian labour market is short by almost 60,000 workers, an increase of more than twenty percent on the previous year.

It might make confusing reading for those of you struggling to find a job in Norway, but the 2018 edition of the NAV company survey shows that the shortage of labour in Norwegian companies amounts to almost 60,000 people.

That's an increase of 15,000 on the previous year. Despite this, the survey indicates that the Norwegian economy will continue to grow. In general, all counties expect employment growth during 2019. One in four companies expects to increase staffing in the coming year.

Industries with the biggest need in Norway

One in five companies reported having had recruitment problems in the last three months. That's also an increase from the previous year. The highest proportion of companies with recruitment problems are in the Oslo region. Companies in the counties of Agder and Trøndelag have the least problems.

Healthcare for visitors to Norway
Norway needs healthcare professionals

Health and social services are the hardest hit areas. More than one-in-three of the enterprises within this sector have experienced problems recruiting qualified healthcare workers within the last three months.

The overall shortage is estimated at 12,750 people, almost 1,000 more than a year ago. The biggest shortage in any profession is nursing. Almost one-in-three employers reported not getting enough qualified applicants to vacancies advertised over the last year.

While foreigners are recruited into nursing, a high level of language proficiency is required which is not always the case with other industries.

Another major area suffering from a high level of labour shortage is construction industry jobs. The overall shortage is estimated at 14,300 people. The numbers also come up short in skilled trades including carpenters, joiners, electricians and plumbers.

Construction and building jobs in Norway

There is also a shortage of labour within engineering and ICT of approximately 6,500 people.

An annual survey

NAV's company survey comes out once a year. It maps the demand for and lack of labour, both on a county level and within individual industries. According to NAV, the survey provides a snapshot of companies demand for labour, and gives insight into any troubles obtaining the required competence.

There is some uncertainty about the figure of 60,000 given the sample size of the survey. That said, there is little doubt that the increase in the skills shortage is a valid conclusion. A total of 11,168 businesses responded to the survey.

“Since this is a sample survey, there is uncertainty related to the estimates of lack of labour. We've calculate with a 95 percent probability that the shortage is between 52,600 and 67,600 people,” states NAV in the survey.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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1 thought on “Norway’s Workforce Shortage Increases”

  1. Thanks for the information David. I have a construction company based in UK and would like to find work as a sub contractor in Norway and wondered if you could point me in the right direction to main contractors in Norway in need of labour?


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