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Employers less optimistic than in many years

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The health service is struggling to get enough people. Nurses top the list. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

Of NTB | 07.05.2024 00:04:00

Working life: Expectations in working life have taken a turn since last year, the annual survey shows.

Fewer expect that there will be more employees this year. Net, only one in ten companies expects increased employment.

– We have to go back to 2016 to find lower optimism, and it is only three times in the last 20 years that it has been as low as now, says director of employment and welfare Hans Christian Holte.

In addition to the oil price crisis, the other low points were the recession in 2002–2003 and the financial crisis a few years later.

But it is also not the case that the employers envision that they will have to downsize. This figure is stable from last year. In contrast, there is a larger group than before who believe that employment will remain unchanged.

At the same time as Norwegian businesses report slightly worse prospects and less labor shortages, unemployment is still historically low.

– All in all, there are still great opportunities to get more of those who are outside, into working life, says Holte.

The lack of people is significantly reduced when you look at the figures together, but there are big differences between the occupational groups, points out the head of Nav.

– Within health and care, the shortage is significant, and businesses report a large shortage of nurses, healthcare workers and medical specialists, says Holte.

The greatest shortage is within the following professional groups:

* Nurses – 3750

* Health professionals – 3100

* Other health professions – 1950

* Store employees – 1,600

* Cooks – 1250

* Medical specialists – 1150

* Electricians – 1,000

* Construction machinery and industrial mechanics – 950

* Carpenters and carpenters – 900

* Primary school teachers – 850

All the country’s counties are affected by the shortage of health personnel. The situation is worst in the interior, followed by Vestland and Rogaland.

Over the past year, the Norwegian economy has been characterized by weak economic growth, but there are also large gaps. While parts of industry are doing well, the construction industry and people’s private consumption are pulling down growth.

Within construction, the deficit of people has been halved in two years. There is now a shortage of 5,500 people, down 2,100 from last year.

– Although the shortage has been significantly reduced in construction, there is still a large shortage of skilled workers. Electricians, carpenters and carpenters are all in the top ten list of professions with the greatest shortage, says Holte.

For 14 per cent, the problems were so great that they could not hire anyone, while 9 per cent ended up hiring an applicant with a different or lower level of competence.

The biggest problem is in health and social services. There, 40 per cent of the businesses have struggled to get hold of people. It is also difficult to get hold of qualified applicants among companies that manufacture machinery and equipment, in accommodation and catering and in teaching.

The business survey was carried out from January to March this year among a representative sample of all the country’s public and private enterprises. 10,655 businesses responded, which corresponds to 70 per cent of the sample.

The main problem in recent years has been getting hold of qualified people. It is less of a challenge now, according to Nav.

Two years ago, there was a shortage of 70,000 people to meet the needs of working life, which was a record high level. Now the number is 43,600 people.

The health and social services are the workplace for one in five Norwegians. Although the labor shortage has decreased somewhat since last year, it is still at a historically high level. There is a need for a further 13,800 people, Nav’s survey shows.

Almost one in four businesses – 23 per cent – ​​state that they have recruitment problems. That is 3 percentage points lower than last year.

(© NTB)

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