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Surprising fall in unemployment

Foto: Scanpix

The number of unemployed Norwegians is falling, and new numbers indicate that the unemployment rate fell more than previously predicted.

Arbeidskraftundersøkelsen AKU (workforce survey) from Statistics Norway indicates that the season adjusted numbers for unemployment was 105,000 persons in January, equalling an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The expected unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, according to a survey conducted by TDN Finans.

«The number is a little better than expected, and the reason is that the employment increased a little and the job offers decreased slightly. So in total, the decrease is not as good as you would think,» explained Kyrre Aamdal, macroeconomist at DnB Markets, to TV 2 Nettavisen.

Aamdal said the numbers indicate that the top has been reached, and that this is also an indication to Norges Bank that the low interest rate is good for the market economy. However, the numbers varies from month to month, and for them to have an affect on interest rate, the numbers must move in the same direction over a longer period of time.

«Norges Bank must count on such reactions when the interest is so low, and it is therefore not vital for the interest placement,» Aamdal stated.

The interest market reacted by sending the interest up somewhat when the unemployment numbers were released.

Since June of last year, the number of unemployed persons has decreased. Since the summer of 2003 the number of employed increased after a long time with a negative trend.

The AKU numbers for December indicated that 110,000 people were unemployed, equalling an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.

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