Job vacancies on NAV’s job portal, arbeidsplassen.no. are at record numbers already this year, with two months of 2021 still to go.
So far this year, around 433,000 jobs have been listed on the portal, surpassing the figure for pre-pandemic 2019.
“Already now, at the end of September, we have even more vacancies through this year so far than we had throughout 2019,” Hans Christian Holte, director of Nav, told public broadcaster NRK.
NAV estimates that by the end of the year, well over 500,000 vacancies will have been registered in 2021.
Some industries stand out in particular when it comes to the demand for labour. Tourism and catering, daycare, sales and health sciences are all areas with significant demand for workers, according to NAV’s director.
Holte rejected the idea that Norwegians may be too picky about the types of jobs they are willing to take as a partial explanation for the vacancies. He instead said it was about people having the necessary skills.
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In addition, he also said that the job market had recovered from the pandemic much quicker than expected.
“We see that unemployment, in general, is back to the level it was before the pandemic. We actually expected this to happen next year,” he said.
One trend concerning Holte is the rise in long-term unemployment in Norway. According to the NAV director, the number of people who have been unemployed for between one-and-a-half to two years has more than doubled since last year.
“This is perhaps the biggest concern I have right now – there are the many who have been out of work for a long time. Maybe there are special reasons for it, such as gaps in the CV, language challenges, or health-related things. Norwegian society must now be good and help them back into working life,” he explained.