Reports 2013/35

Long-term unemployment among immigrants, May 2011-2012

This publication is in Norwegian only

Open and read the publication in PDF (826 KB)

This report describes the share of long-term unemployed among immigrants registered as unemployed compared to unemployed in the rest of the Norwegian population. It is the group of registered unemployed that is the subject of this study. This group is defined as follows: “Persons who are capable of working and seeking paid employment at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation and else are available for the employment they are looking for. In addition they must have been without paid employment in the last two weeks”. In this report all persons who have been registered as unemployed for 6 months or more added together from the end of May 2011 to the end of May 2012 are defined as long-term unemployed.

Looking at the share of long-term unemployed, we find that only 2 percentage points separate unemployed immigrants from unemployed in the rest of the population . i.e. 48.6 per cent versus 46.6 per cent. The Norwegian-born with immigrant parents have, however, somewhat lower share of long-term unemployed than the majority, i.e. 40.5 per cent. This is primary due to the low average of age within this population group.

It must be emphasized that the unemployed immigrants receive unemployment benefit to a lesser degree than the other unemployed, and they have lower shares of unemployed among those aged 50 years and more. Receivers of unemployment benefit and older age groups have in general larger shares of long-term unemployed than other groups of unemployed. These factors reduce some of the difference in relation to the majority population.

Hence, the share of long-term unemployed increases with the age of the unemployed, and this pattern is the same, both among immigrants and in the rest of the population. The level is at the lowest among the youngest, 15- 24 years of age, and somewhat higher within the age group 25-29 years Then there is a stable increase up to the oldest group, 60-74 years of age, where we can observe a clear jump in the level of long-term unemployment within both groups.

Immigrants have higher shares of long-term unemployed within four of altogether six age groups with differences which vary between 1 percentage point (30-39 years) to 4 percentage points. Within the oldest group, 60-74 years of age, unemployed without immigrant background lie, however, 5 percentage points above the immigrants as the share of long-term unemployed is concerned.

Hedmark county had the highest share of long-term unemployed among the registered unemployed immigrants with 53 per cent. Both Østfold and Vest-Agder counties were close to that level with shares about 52 per cent. The lowest shares of long term unemployed immigrants were to be found in Troms and Finnmark with 37.3 and 39.8 per cent respectively.

Unemployed immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin-America and Eastern-Europe outside the EU had a share of long-term unemployed which was 6 percentage points higher than the share among rest of the immigrants, 51 versus 45 per cent.

Unemployed immigrants from Iraq and Kosovo had the highest shares of long-term unemployed at about 57 per cent, followed by immigrants from Sri Lanka and Vietnam at 56.4 and 55.5 per cent respectively. The share of long-term unemployed within the Iraqi group must be related to the high level of unemployment in general within this group, while long time of residence in Norway and relatively many receivers of unemployment benefit explain the level of long-term unemployment within the remaining three groups.

Read more about the publication