Excerpted from the Norway Career Guide
Norway is one of the wealthiest – and costliest – countries in the world. Its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita is around 100,000 USD, second only in Europe to Luxembourg. Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), but not the European Union (EU) or the Eurozone (EZ), those countries using the euro (EUR) currency. It maintains its own currency, the Norwegian krone (NOK).
Norway owes much of its wealth to its vast reserves of oil and gas. The Norwegian government saves the taxes, revenues and dividends generated from its petroleum and gas sectors in the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, worth more than 880 billion USD, to help finance public expenses. However, Norway’s economic dependence on oil makes it increasingly vulnerable. The country’s oil boom appears to be coming to an end; investments are falling, and oil prices are predicted to fall over the next couple of years.
Norway’s current unemployment rate is around 3.4 percent – low compared to the average EU unemployment rate of 10.5 percent. However, unemployment is expected to rise to around 4 percent next year due mainly to a decrease in oil investments. This would be its highest level since 2005.
The number of overall job vacancies continues to drop in Norway. The latest statistics reports a job vacancy rate of 2.5 percent, or 66,000 jobs, down by 8,300 jobs from the same time the previous year.
Areas of Job Promise
Norway has a shortage of workers with STEM (science, echnology, engineering and mathematics) skills. Statistics Norway predicts that by 2030 the greatest demand will be for teachers, nurses, highly skilled manufacturing and construction professionals, and engineers and science professionals. In fact, the Norwegian sectors that hire the most foreign workers are information technology (IT) and oil and gas. Statistics Norway expects there to be an oversupply of workers in economics, administration, the social sciences, law, the humanities and the arts by 2030.
A recent Gallup survey of incomes revealed that Norwegians earn the highest salaries in the world. The median per capita income in Norway is about 19,300 USD; Sweden, which placed second, has a median per capita income of 18,630 USD; France, 12,445 USD; and the UK, 12,339 USD. In comparison, the median per capita income in the US is 15,480 USD and in Canada, 15,181 USD, according to the poll. Worldwide, the median per capita is 2,920 USD.
However, declining oil profits and rising unemployment are predicted to lead to slower wage growth over the next year or so. Overall wages are expected to increase by 3.5 percent this year, and by only 3.3 percent over the next two years.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Norway Guide.