OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Maintaining high employment in Norway

Norway has a well-functioning labour market with high employment and a compressed wage distribution, contributing to low inequality. Norway nevertheless faces challenges from a trend decline in employment rates among the young and prime-age men. Furthermore, immigrants and people with disabilities have significantly poorer labour market outcomes than rest of the population. Norway still faces comparatively high sick-leave absence and the share of the working-age population on disability support remains large. Relatively high school dropout rates are also of concern, in particular as opportunities for workers with low educational attainment are limited in the Norwegian labour market. This paper first describes the labour market and identifies its main strengths and weaknesses and then goes on to discussing policy areas to boost employment and ensure quality jobs for the future. These include reforms to i) sick-leave compensation and disability support, ii) early retirement incentives in old-age pensions; iii) education and skills; and, iv) integration of immigrants.


Keywords: retirement, sick leave, employment, integration, ageing, immigrants, pensions, labour market, disability, education, skills, Norway
JEL: I2: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions; H53: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs; J3: Labor and Demographic Economics / Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs; H55: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Social Security and Public Pensions; J6: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers; J2: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error