Labour market and earnings;Immigration and immigrants
innvarbl, Registered unemployed among immigrants, labour market initiatives, immigrant background, period of residenceUnemployment , Labour market and earnings, Labour market and earnings, Immigration and immigrants

Registered unemployed among immigrants

In 2018, the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) introduced several changes that led to a break in the time series in the ARENA register, which is the statistical basis for registered unemployment among immigrants. The figures on registered unemployment among immigrants before and after the changes are therefore not directly comparable.  Statistics Norway has therefore chosen not to comment on the changes in the figures in this publication.


Next update

Key figures

5.0 %

of immigrants are registered as unemployed Q4 2019

Registered unemployed, by immigrant background and region of birth.
4th quarter 2019
Unemployed personsRegistered unemployed in per cent of the labour force (per cent)
1Non-residents included.
2Turkey is included.
Registered unemployed, total59 4542.1
Non-immigrant population135 0371.5
All immigrants24 4175.0
The Nordic countries1 0032.2
Western Europe else1 3362.7
EU countries in Eastern Europe7 4705.3
Eastern Europe else1 9184.5
North-America and Oceania1692.2
Asia27 3275.6
Africa4 4428.7
South and Central Amerika7524.8

About the statistics

The statistics show how many immigrants are registered as unemployed with NAV, and how many participate in labour market measures. The number and percentage of immigrants in total, by sex and country of origin, is compared with the rest of the population.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Immigrant: a person born abroad by foreign - born parents.

Unemployed : A person without waged labour who is registered as job searcher at the labour offices placed under the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation, who has been without waged labour the last 2 weeks. In addition he or she does not participate in labour market schemes (job programmes).

Standard classifications

Time of residence in Norway: under 4 years, 4 - 6 years 7 years and more.

Country of birth (tables 1 - 3): The Nordic countries, Western Europe else, EU-countries in Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe else, Northern America and Oceania, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Country of birth (tables 4 - 6): Group 1 (The Nordic countries, Western Europe else, EU-countries in Eastern Europe , Northern America, Australia and New-Zealand). Group 2 (Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania except Australia and New-Zealand).

EU countries in Eastern Europe (table 7): Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Registered unemployed among immigrants
Topic: Labour market and earnings

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Labour Market and Wage Statistics

Regional level

County and the whole country.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


Not relevant


Background and purpose

The main purpose is to describe the unemployment among immigrants according to gender, age, time of residence in Norway, country of birth and county of residence.

Users and applications

The Labour Market Authorities, other public administration, mass media and social research.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

Employment statistics for immigrants. These statistics are published annually on the internet and comprise both wage earners and self employed.


Legal authority

The Statistics Act §3-2, 2-2, 3-2 (Administrative registers)

EEA reference

Not relevant



All immigrants aged 15 - 74 years who are registered (under the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation) as unemployed and settled in Norway. (The date of reference is the end of the second month in the quarter). Among the registered unemployed a smaller group of non-registered residents are included. Those people are settled abroad and are expected a stay in Norway lesser than six months.This group is not included among the immigrants, but is a part of the rest of the population.

Data sources and sampling

The Register of unemployed (under the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation), the Central Population Register, Statistics Norway's Population statistics. In addition data from the Register of employees (also under the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation ) are used as supporting data when calculating the labour force.

Total counting.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Main figures concerning the whole population are compared to figures published by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation.

Immigrants are distributed by region of birth based on individual information about their country of birth. Unemployed are calculated in per cent of the labour force and in relation to the population 15 - 74 years. The figures are compared to main figures concerning the whole Norwegian labour force or the population and the non-immigrant segments within them. Immigrants are also counted in accordance with time of residence and their county of residence. Persons participating on ordinary labour market schemes are calculated in per cent of the population only. When calculating the unemployment rate, the labour force figures from the Labour Force Survey are used. These figures are distributed at lower levels by means of supporting figures from the Register of Employees.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

The Directorate of Labour changed their definition of unemployed from 1. January 1999. This change has caused a break in the statistical continuity at that point of time

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The unemployment rate for the new reported quarter (in per cent of the labour force) is preliminary because of some delayed reports to the Register of employees . The correction of this figure the next quarter is however marginal.


Not relevant