Norway sees job prospects improving in oil and gas

Government stresses that gains are rebounding from a historic low.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 16, 2017 at 8:27 AM
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Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The number of job vacancies in the Norwegian economy moved higher, with oil and gas prospects showing early signs of recovery, the government reported.

Norway is one of the leading oil and gas producers among countries not party to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and a top supplier to the European economy.

A late 2016 report from the country's central bank said growth projections looked promising because its trading partners were seeing gains, though uncertainty about global issues remains because of policy decisions from the U.S. government.

The value of the nation's currency, meanwhile, is stronger than anticipated in September because oil prices have improved since then. On the labor front, the government's statistics office reported the number of job openings increased 3.6 percent during the fourth quarter.

"There was an increase in oil and gas, but from a very low level," the government report stated. "Other industries with an increase in job vacancies include construction, as well as information and communication."

Weak economic growth in the latter half of 2016 for Norway has replaced an economic standstill, with gains in home-building and exports expected to provide a lift through early 2017.

For the entire industry, Statistics Norway said last year that it expects total investments in oil, gas, mining and other parts of the electricity supply to reach $26 billion. In the mining and quarrying industries, which include oil and gas production, there were notable gains in employment prospects.

"There were 600 job vacancies in this industry in the 4th quarter of 2016, compared with 200 the previous year. Compared with the figures for the 4th quarter in the years 2010-2013, the figure for 2015 was very low. For instance, the number of job vacancies was 2 200 in the 4th quarter of 2011."

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