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Fast Comment NorwayRegistered unemployment fell somewhat less than expected in December

  1. Registered unemployment at 2.4/2.5 percent in December (unadjusted/seasonally adjusted)
  2. Slightly on the weak side of expectations
  3. December may have marked the slowing of the downtrend in unemployment
Registered unemployment at 2.4/2.5 percent in December (unadjusted/seasonally adjusted)
According to seasonally adjusted figures, the number of people registered as unemployed and on government schemes declined by a modest 400 people in December. The number of people registered as fully unemployed was down by 200. The unadjusted unemployment rate, which is calculated from registered unemployment only (scheme positions are left out), was 2.4 percent in December, up from 2.3 percent in November. The outturn was marginally weaker than expected, as both we and consensus had anticipated an unchanged registered unemployment rate in December (at 2.3 percent). Adjusting the figures for normal seasonal variations, the registered unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in December, identical to the unemployment rate in November. As such, the outcome was also marginally on the weak side of Norges Bank’s short-term estimates. However, the key story is most important. Namely, that both we and Norges Bank foresee a slowing of the downtrend in unemployment, and December may have marked the starting point. A few details to explain this forecast: employment growth has been stronger than previously expected, and is also forecast to hold up well going forward (on the back of a firming economy). In isolation this calls for a further and steadfast decline in the registered unemployment rate. However, labour force participation appears to have reached its cyclical trough and, going forward, both we and Norges Bank expect participation to pick up in line with firming employment. The end result should be a slowing of the decline in unemployment.

 
 




 



Disclaimer

Marius Gonsholt Hov

Senior Economist

Norway

maho60@handelsbanken.no

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