Talking to Dagbladet, NAV senior advisor John Sørbø said they expect that unemployment will continue to rise slightly in 2014, but economic growth will gradually pick up and unemployment in 2015 will again begin to decline.
He noted that unemployment in the past year has increased most for construction workers. This trend will continue this year, and Eastern Europeans are going to lose their jobs, he adds.
– Growth in housing investment was weak in 2013, and house prices have fallen in autumn. We expect that unemployment will continue to increase over the next few months for this group. Given that many Eastern Europeans work in construction, unemployment will increase more for these people, says Sørbø.
NAV senior advisor also expects increasing unemployment among retail and sales workers in the fall, as consumption gets lower than expected. Instead, people choose to save money while buying more from abroad. This is a trend which will continue in the coming months, according to Sørbø.
Nevertheless, the unemployment rate in Norway will still be low despite the moderate increase, and it will be far lower than the USA and the rest of Europe.
According to seasonally-adjusted figures from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the number of unemployed persons decreased by 7 000 and the unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate has varied around 3.5 per cent through most of 2013.