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Norway – Staffing industry continues to decline

08 November 2013

The number of hours worked by temporary workers in Norway fell by -3.4% during the third quarter of 2013, compared with the same period last year, according to NHO Service. While the number of hours worked fell, revenues rose by +5.8%, something NHO Service attributes to the new regulatory framework driving price inflation by about +5%.

Even Hagelien, CEO of NHO Service, commented: “With the new regulatory framework for the staffing industry, and in particular the introduction of the principle of equal treatment from 1 January this year, we expect some uncertainty in the temporary recruitment market. This is both in terms of inadequate regulations and higher prices.”

“That the figures for the third quarter are down compared with the same quarter last year had been expected. In fact, the decline was less during the third quarter than it was in the second quarter. Therefore the fall of only -3.4% must be considered good news, especially when you view it in light of the fact that not only are new pressures creating difficulties in the market, but also the slowing of the Norwegian economy,” he added.

The staffing industry sold 43,780,958 hours in 2012, an increase of +7.2% compared with 2011. Despite the number of hours sold in 2013 being less than in 2012, the figure is still higher than in 2011, which is considered a good year, according to Mr Hagelien.

The penetration of temporary workers in the job market was 1.25% across Norway, with the highest level of penetration in Oslo at 2.4%.

By industry there is considerable variation between professions. In 2012 the construction and building industry remains the biggest industry segment at 23.8% of the total market share. Followed by warehousing/logistics/transportation at 14.9%, and office/administration with 12.3%.

During the third quarter of 2013, declines were noted in most industry segments, nine of the 13, compared with the previous year. Retail experienced the biggest year-on-year decline of -19.5%, followed by IT with -12.9%, and construction and building with -7.9%. The strongest year-on-year growth came from the nursery/education industry, which reported a +20.5% increase.

“Although the market during the third quarter has been challenging for many, there have also been some solid bright spots. The positive trend continued in among the technical services, with growth of +13.1%. Also in healthcare and hospitality, recent development have been gratifying. There is much to suggest that the price inflation in these areas is somewhat lower than for the rest of the staffing industry,” Mr Hagelien added.          


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