Hodan Sjama (left) and Hamar Ali Tesli (in the background) work at the sowing house (systua) at IKEA Furuset. The Sowing house is run by Sisters in Business and hires people who have previously not been part of working life.

More people are getting permanent jobs in Norway

The share of permanent jobs have increased in the last 25 years. There are no signs of an increased use of temporary employees, according to a new report.

The period studied is from 1995-2018. During this time, there are no signs that the share of so-called atypical work has increased, according to a report from the Institute for Social Research in Norway.

Atypical work is defined as all work that is not based on a permanent contract of employment. It includes temporary employees, self-employed people, and people who work for temp agencies.

The general rule in Norway is still permanent employment, the researchers behind the report state.

On average, just below 60 per cent of the workforce had a permanent job in 2018, which is an increase from just over 50 per cent in 1995.

Stricter rules for temp agencies

“The use of temporary employment is lower now than it was when the Government took office in 2013, said State Secretary Vegard Einan from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in a press release.

The Government opened up for increased use of temporary employment in 2015, but last year the Parliament tightened the rules for hiring from temp agencies. This led to a dramatic drop in the use of hired labour toward the end of last year, particularly within the construction industry.

In February a report from the Fafo Foundation concluded that many businesses break the rules, and that thousands of workers on temporary contracts should have been permanent employees.

The Labour party has promised to reverse the law of 2015 if they win the election next year.

At the same time, there are differences between the types of atypical work. For instance, the share of self-employed has fallen at an even rate throughout the period. The use of temporary employees fluctuate in line with the business cycles. The share of people employed through a temp agency has increased, particularly after the 2004 EU expansion, but they still make up a fairly small part of the total work force.

Lower wages

Temporary employments also seem to be more of a pathway into the workforce, rather than a blind alley, according to the researchers.

“It’s possible that several atypical jobs in an economy can give work opportunities to more groups”, the report states.

At the same time, the temporarily employed have the lowest wages in the labour market. This is partly because temporary work is often part time work, but also because the hourly pay often is lower.

This is why the majority of the temporarily employed are to be found at the bottom of wage statistics. One reason could be that those who have temporary jobs often are fairly young. Many of them are also students.

People employed through temp agencies also have lower wages than those with permanent jobs.

Translated by: Ida Irene Bergstrøm


Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no

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