Working Time

Data Tracker on the Norwegian Labour Market

3 of 4 employed persons work full-time

Three out of every four employed persons work full-time, according to the latest data. Over the past 10 years, the share of employed individuals working full-time has increased slightly from 73% to 75%.

There are significant differences in the full-time employment rate between men and women. While 84% of men work full-time, only 65% of women do. However, the full-time employment rate for women has increased by almost 6 percentage points compared to 2011, while for men it has decreased by almost 2 percentage points over the same period.

Large differences in the full-time share between industries

There are significant differences in the full-time employment rate among different industries. For example, more than 90% of managers, crafts and trade-related workers work full-time, while less than half of those in services and sales work full-time. These differences highlight the varying demands and requirements of different industries and the impact they have on the full-time employment rate.

Women have a lower full-time employment rate than men in all occupational groups, with the smallest differences being observed among managers.

The high proportion of full-time employment among managers results in them having the longest average workweek among all occupational groups.

Despite some variation in recent years, the average weekly workweek has remained relatively unchanged across different occupations. However, an exception to this trend can be observed among workers in the agricultural, fisheries, and forestry sectors, where the average workweek has decreased by five hours in the last decade.

High part-time share in Norway

Norway boasts a higher proportion of part-time employment compared to many other European nations. According to Eurostat data, in 2021, the proportion of employed individuals working part-time in Norway was about 8 percentage points higher than the average for the EU27 member states.

One explanation for the high part-time share is that many young Norwegians engage in both part-time work and education simultaneously. Eurostat data from 2021 illustrates that the proportion of young people in Norway concurrently pursuing education and employment is twice the EU average.

One of the shortest working weeks in Europe

The average working week in Norway is shorter than in most other European countries. According to Eurostat, the average weekly work hours per employee in Norway is 32 hours, compared to 36 hours in the EU.

It's important to note that this data includes both full-time and part-time workers, which means that the high proportion of part-time employment in Norway contributes to the lower average weekly work hours. When considering only full-time employees (the second map below), the differences between Norway and the EU become much smaller.

Stable annual working hours

Norway is amongst the countries with the lowest annual working hours per employee. As in many other countries, the average annual hours of work have been significantly reduced since the 1970s, in large part due to working-hour reforms such as increased holidays and shortening of the working week.

Since 2000 there have been only minor changes in annual working hours, however, data from Eurostat shows a reduction in working hours from 2019 to 2020 due to the negative impact of the pandemic on labour markets. So far, this impact seems to be less in Norway than in other countries.

About the data

Data on working hours are from Statistics Norway "Labour force survey". New data is published quarterly.

International data on weekly working hours are from Eurostat, while data on annual working hours are from the OECD.

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