Working Life

Work and welfare

The fact that most of us have paid work means higher tax income for the government and municipalities. This benefits society for a number of reasons:

  • It provides more funding for schools, health care, roads, etc.
  • We have more resources to provide even better social benefits.
  • Lower public expenditures (fewer people need unemployment benefits, social security and welfare benefits, etc.).

Norway has been an oil nation since the late 1960s. An oil nation is a country in which oil and the oil industry are an important source of income.

Income from oil and gas production helps pay for the welfare state. Around a quarter of Norway’s public expenditure is covered by oil revenues. The rest is covered by taxes and other revenue.

It is not only society that benefits from high employment rates. Most adults benefit personally from having a job.

Work gives us:

  • Financial opportunities
  • Independence and a meaningful everyday life
  • Social status and social relationships
  • Possibility to use our abilities and competence
  • Possibility to contribute to society and feel useful

Hovedgeskjeft 15-74 år


In his New Year’s speech on 1 January 2011, former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, “We live off of each other’s work. The more people at work, the greater the welfare state.”


The most important income for the government and municipalities is taxable income and other tax revenue. The government and municipalities receive tax payments from both companies and private persons.

Working life

You can read more about Norwegian working life at