Africans Face Steep Unemployment

Aftenposten (Oslo), Aug. 23

The unemployment rate for African immigrants in Norway is over five times higher than the rate for the country’s population.

Registered unemployment among immigrants decreased by 0.8 of a percent point, from 9.8 percent in the second quarter of 2004 to 9.0 percent in the second quarter of 2005, according to a new report from Statistics Norway (SSB).

The greatest decrease was seen for immigrants from Eastern Europe, down 1.3 percent over the last year. For Norway’s population as a whole unemployment declined from 3.7 percent to 3.3 percent.

Even though the downward trend is positive, about three times as immigrants are out of work compared to the total population, and fully 17.5 percent of African immigrants are jobless.

SSB reports that part of the reason is that there is a relatively high percentage of newer refugees than in other non-Western groups, particularly refugees from Somalia, who have not had time to establish themselves in the country.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

2nd quarter 2005:

General population: 3.3 percent

Immigrants from new EU nations in Eastern Europe: 4.7 percent

Immigrants from other Eastern European nations:10.6 percent

Immigrants from North America and Oceania: 4.5 percent

Immigrants from Africa: 17.5 percent

Immigrants from Asia: 12.3 percent

Immigrants from South and Central America: 10.1 percent

Immigrants from Nordic nations: 3.6 percent

Immigrants from Western Europe: 3.9 percent

Source: Statistics Norway (SSB)

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