Almost 31 per cent of Norway's total area is productive
land, ie cultivated land, which represents 3.6 per cent, and
productive forest, which represents 27 per cent.
The reason for the high material standard is therefore
that the country has been decisively incorporated into the
industrialization process that has been going on for the
last 100–200 years in all western countries.
In this process, natural benefits are utilized, such as
energy access, location relative to markets and more.
Extensive trade relations and other contacts with other
countries have played a crucial role in the development.
Later, the discoveries of oil and gas in Norwegian areas
have generated large revenues; in 2013, the oil business
accounted for 21 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
In comparison, public administration accounted for 16 per
cent. The Norwegian GDP is about NOK 3 billion.
COUNTRYAAH, Norway was, like the other countries in Europe, hit by
mass unemployment in the interwar period, with a peak in
1933, when 1/3 of the unionized
workforce was jobless.
During the post- World War II reconstruction, broad
political consensus on full employment was a key objective
of economic policy, and this line was maintained even after
the international boom in the 1960s was replaced by
stagnation in the second half of the 1970s.
The oil industry in the North Sea created many new jobs
in Norway, also in traditionally exposed industries such as
the engineering industry, and together with an active labor
market policy, this contributed to the unemployment rate in
Norway during the 1970s being significantly lower than in
other industrialized countries.
From the early 1970s until the recession of 1983/84,
unemployment was below 2 per cent of the labor force.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, globalization of the
economy has led Norway to be more closely linked to the
trends in the world economy, and unemployment now reflects
the fluctuations internationally to a greater extent.
In the first half of the 1980s, unemployment rose to a
peak year in 1984, when 66,597, corresponding to 3.2 per
cent, were fully unemployed. Unemployment then dropped to
1.5 per cent in 1987.
Against the background of the problems in the Norwegian
and international economy, a new and more serious increase
in unemployment began from 1987–88. In the peak year 1993,
118 147 were completely unemployed. This was equivalent to 6
per cent of the workforce.
From 1993, unemployment dropped sharply to 55 974,
corresponding to 2.4 per cent, fully unemployed in 1998, and
then increased again to 92 631, ie 3.9 per cent, fully
unemployed in 2003.
The Norwegian economy entered a new upswing in mid-2003,
and from the turn of the year 2003/04, registered
unemployment declined again. In January 2006, 78 600 fully
unemployed persons were registered, ie 3.3 per cent.
In April 2014, the proportion of unemployed was the same
as in 2006. This amounts to 90,000 people.
Professional participation in Norway is very high in an
international context. In 2013, the number of employed
persons was 2.7 million. This corresponds to about 50 per
cent of the population. 74 percent of men between the ages
of 15 and 74 are in the workforce. The same goes for 68
percent of women.
Employment growth was particularly strong among women and
labor participation among women has since remained high.
Norway also has a significant share of part-time employees,
although the proportion has been declining in recent years.
Today, 40 percent of all women work part-time. In 1980 the
proportion was 53 per cent. About 10 percent of all men work
less than 36 hours a week. It has long remained stable.
One of the most important labor market initiatives is the
State Employment Service, which sorts under the Ministry of
Labor and Social Affairs. NAV was established on July 1,
2006. This entailed a merger between the National Insurance
Administration and the labor market agency Aetat and over
time the establishment of local labor and welfare offices.
In collaboration with all the country's municipalities,
the new agency has established local labor and welfare
offices throughout the country. A major purpose of the
reform was to get more people into work and activity and
fewer social benefits.
Comprehensive public-sector employment measures are
implemented, including in the form of wage subsidies for
companies that include new employees, training and
internships, state workplaces, accession measures, special
measures for the disabled and more.
In 2005, a new letter of intent for the period 2006–09 on
a more inclusive working life was signed between the
government and the social partners.
The first letter of intent was signed in 2001 for a
four-year trial. The IA agreement aims to ensure a more
inclusive working life and to prevent the transition from
work to social security.
The agreement focuses on reducing sickness absence and
disability pension, increasing the retirement age in the
working life and securing the recruitment of persons with
reduced disability and other disadvantaged groups in the
Private consumption accounted for about 80 per cent of
gross domestic product at the beginning of the 20th century
and then declined to around 50 per cent in the 1970s.
Parallel to this, the share of public consumption has
increased, but from around 1980 the growth in private
consumption has been greater than the growth in public
The savings rate, that is, the portion of household
disposable income that does not consume for consumption, was
temporarily marked down and was negative in the latter half
of the 1980s, but has increased again towards and into the
In parallel with the growth in private consumption, there
has been a marked change in the consumption pattern. An
ever-decreasing part of the expenditure goes to food and
clothing and footwear, while the expenses for housing,
travel and transport, leisure activities and education show
a clear increase.
Norway has a relatively large number of small and
medium-sized companies. In the international context,
Norwegian companies are small, and the Norwegian corporate
structure is still characterized by a distinction between
the export industry and the domestic market industry.
Export companies, which mainly utilize a raw material and
energy base in Norway, are often relatively large companies,
while the domestic industry is characterized by a large
number of smaller companies.
This applies, for example, to the graphic industry, the
food, furniture, textile and parts of the workshop industry.
In the 1980s began a period of mergers and acquisitions
that characterize this sector; for example, there are far
fewer units in the food industry.
Read more about Norwegian industrial history.
|Consumption expenditure per
household, as a percentage of different goods
|Beverages and tobacco
|Clothes and footwear
|Housing, light and fuel
|Furniture and household articles
|Travel and transportation
|Recreational activities and education