A highly productive labour market

Compared to other industrialized countries, Norway had the fifth highest labour productivity level in 2020, measured as GDP per hour worked.

It should be noted that in Ireland and Luxembourg multinationals play a large role in the economic output and income transfers, making cross-country comparisons of GNI (gross national income) per hour worked more relevant. Measured in this way, Norway is the third most productive.

Lower productivity growth in recent years

In most industrialized countries, including Norway, productivity growth has been lower since 2010 than up until the financial crisis (2007-2009).

A closer look at Norway's performance since 2000, shows that for the period as a whole, Norway is one of the countries with the largest productivity gains. However, the largest growth rates occured from 2000 to 2006/7, with performance since then more modest compared to other countries.

Large differences in productivity levels across industries

Oil and gas is by far the most productive industry in the Norwegian economy, with a value added of 5,800 NOK per hour worked. The industry average in 2021 was 745 NOK per hour, and 625 NOK per hour for mainland Norway.

In a study of productivity growth over time, Statistics Norway finds that since 2007, manufacturing has had a higher growth than the average for the mainland economy. Wholesale and retail trade together with financial and insurance activities have also had a stronger than average growth during this period, while construction has had a lower than average growth.

About the data and terms of use

Data on productivity are from the National Budget and Statistics Norway. There is also a detailed industry comparison in Statistics Norway "Økonomisk Utsyn for 2020" (chapter 4).

International data on productivity are from OECD and their "Compendium of Productivity Indicators".

Link to our terms of use.