June 27 (UPI) -- About 40 percent of the employees tied to the energy sector have poor work relations and job insecurity is on the rise, the Norwegian government found.
Norway is one of the top oil and natural gas producers in the world, sending nearly all of its offshore production to the export market. About a quarter of the country's gross domestic production and nearly 65 percent of its exports are tied to the oil and gas sector.
Statistics Norway, the government's record-keeping division, said about 40 percent of the employees tied to the sector told surveyors they had poor relationships with their superiors. For those in a management position, the report found similar sentiments about work conditions.
Across the entire economy, the report found about 85 percent of the employees said they were motivated and engaged with their work. While high, that sentiment has declined about 10 percentage points to 81 percent for the oil and gas sector over the last three years.
Four years ago, 3 percent of the employees in the sector were afraid of losing their jobs. Last year, the figure was around 30 percent and the portion of those in the sector who were looking for jobs in other parts of the Norwegian economy increased from 2 percent to 7 percent.
"There has also been a significant increase among those who have been exposed to reorganization in this industry, from 10 to 26 percent," the report read. "We must assume that these changes are linked to the major transformation that has taken place in the oil industry in recent years."
Oil prices are less than half what they were three years ago. While some segments of the industry have been resilient to the weakened market, several companies have cuts costs and headcounts.
Fourth-quarter average wages in the oil, gas and mining sectors were up 0.6 percent, compared with 0.4 percent growth reported in fourth quarter 2015. By April, the government said tepid growth in Europe, coupled with lower energy prices by relative standards, could be creating issues on the margins of the Norwegian economy.