Reports 2014/31

Projections of population and labour force by education based on alternative assumptions about immigration

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Since 2004, Norway has had a strong increase in net immigration and thus a rapid growth in the number of individuals registered with unknown education. In the winter of 2011/2012, a survey was therefore conducted by Statistics Norway among persons who had completed their education abroad. As a result of this survey, the proportion with unknown education among immigrants decreased. In this report, we use for the first time this updated education information in the projections of education to future immigrants.

In addition to utilizing the new information about immigrants' education to project education level and field for future immigrants, we have also updated the transitions probabilities for the remaining population while some model weaknesses are corrected.

Furthermore, we show how alternative assumptions about future immigration (low, medium, high) affect the distribution of the population at various educational levels up to 2040. Finally, we compare the updated projections for labour supply by education with the previous projections for demand (see Cappelen et al., 2013). This comparison indicates possible imbalances that may occur in the labour market up to 2030. Because a significant part of the immigrants is registered with tertiary education, the result from the previous projection showing excess demand for these groups is strengthened when immigrants with tertiary education also are taken into account.

A relatively large part of the immigrants have registered upper secondary education in other fields of science, technique and crafts, as well as tertiary education in engineering and other fields of science. High immigration for these groups has, however, counteracted excess demand during the last decade. Even though the relatively high immigration of persons with upper secondary education in different fields of science, technique and craft continues, low probabilities in fulfilling educations in these fields among natives, may cause a slower growth in supply than demand. Compared to the previous analysis, where persons with unknown education were placed in the same group as those who had only completed primary education, the projected growth in excess supply is reduced when immigrants with secondary and higher education are separated out.

For most educational fields updates and estimations for the remaining part of the population are of greater importance for the results than the incorporation of educational information among immigrants. Higher probabilities to study economics and administration at the tertiary level increase the estimated future excess supply for this group further, while somewhat lower probabilities to study in the fields of teaching and nursing and caregiving increase future excess demand for these groups.

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