Age structure and employment

Figures 1 and 2:
The proportion of people of working age has decreased in the three northernmost counties and on a national basis. In parallel, the proportion of employed in the population has increased. At the end of 2020, around 67 per cent of the able-bodied population in Troms and Finnmark were in work, which was 1 percentage point higher than the average for Nordland and Norway. There is a larger proportion of men in working life than women. We find the largest proportion of those who work within the age group 25-66 years.

Figure 3:
In 2019, almost one in four worked in sales and service professions. It was also within these occupations that almost half of all in the age group 15-24 years worked within. Just under one in four continued to work in professional professions, such as the nursing and teaching professions. In addition, one in ten worked in technical and engineering subjects, and almost as many as craftsmen. The share within the various occupational groups has changed little since 2015.

Figure 4-6:
Table… and figure… below provide a more detailed overview of the occupations of employees in northern Norway and on a national basis. The overviews are based on the ILO's standard for occupational classification; ISCO-08, which classifies each profession according to four different levels.

Figures 7 and 8:
Just over 10 per cent of the population in Norway received disability benefits in the third quarter of 2021. In both Troms and Finnmark and in Nordland, the proportion is higher, and is 1 percentage point and 3.4 percentage points above the national average, respectively.

Within the region, however, there are big differences. While almost 20 per cent were on disability benefits in Dyrøy and Gratangen, the same was true for 7.4 per cent and 8 per cent in Bardu and Tromsø, respectively.

The proportion of people on disability benefits increases gradually with age and is in the age group 50 and up higher than the average for the counties and the country as a whole.

Poor health is an important reason why people receive disability benefits, which for the individual often means a reduced quality of life. For society, this means that people are not in work, loss of valuable labor and value creation.

The Korona pandemic and the introduction of strict infection control measures led to record high unemployment in March 2020. Until then, unemployment had been at a low level in Troms and Nordland, both of which had unemployment below the national average. In Finnmark, unemployment was higher than on a national basis.

Unemployment was highest at 9.6 per cent in Troms and Finnmark, and 8.5 per cent in Nordland, which was still below the national average. The relatively low unemployment rate in the north continued even when unemployment gradually declined. In November 2021, unemployment was at about the same level as before the pandemic. In Nordland and Troms and Finnmark, it was 1.6 per cent, while it was 2.1 per cent on a national basis.