June 9, 2020 / 12:43 PM / a month ago

Norway's overall unemployment drops as more workers return

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s registered unemployment, including those who are counted as only partly employed, eased to 11.4% on Tuesday from 12.0% one week ago as employers brought back more furloughed workers, the Labour and Welfare Agency (NAV) said.

Unemployment peaked at a record 15.4% in early April following mass furloughs and layoffs as the coronavirus outbreak triggered shutdowns of parts of the economy.

Counting only the fully unemployed, the rate stood at 5.7% on Tuesday, up from 2.3% since February.

“The number of (fully) unemployed continues to fall, and we see a drop in all job categories and across the whole country. The decline is mainly due to fewer furloughs,” NAV chief Sigrun Vaageng said in a statement.

The Norwegian government announced emergency shutdowns of many public and private institutions in March, sending the economy into a tailspin, but has since eased many restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases declined.

Norway’s economy is seen recovering more quickly than previously expected, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Friday, but is still set for a sharp contraction this year.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik

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