Stable unemployment in May
According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.0% for the third consecutive month in May (average Apr-Jun), in line with market expectations.
Employment growth moderates
The number of employed persons increased by 1,000 from April (average Mar-May) to May (average Mar-Jun) and by 13,000 persons from the previous non-overlapping three-month period ending in March. The labour force increased by 2,000 persons from April to May and by 10,000 persons from the previous non-overlapping three-month period.
Figures in line with Norges Bank's forecasts
Today's figures appear to be broadly in line with Norges Bank's forecasts from June and should not affect interest rate assessments. Employment growth from Feb to May was 0.5%, according to the LFS, in line with Norges Bank's Q2 forecast. For 2012 as a whole the central bank expects an unemployment rate of 3.0%. Our own forecast is 3.2%. We expect unemployment to increase slightly in the second half of the year as employment growth moderates and the labour force continues to grow strongly. This is supported by data from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) showing that the number of unemployed persons and on labour market measures has increased slightly in recent months.