Working Life

Historic development

Agriculture, forestry and fishing were the most important industries in Norway 150 years ago. Much has changed since then. At the end of the 19th century, factories began springing up and many people moved to the city to work in these factories. During the first half of the 1900s, large numbers of new industrial jobs became available. It was also at this time that many Norwegians emigrated to the United States.

In 1950, around 20 percent of the population worked in agriculture, compared to only three percent today. All the same, more food is produced in Norway today than in the past. This is due largely to the fact that we have machinery nowadays that makes it easier and more effective to farm.

Over the past 30 years, major changes have once again taken place in the Norwegian labour market. This includes a significant decline in the number of industrial jobs.

After oil was discovered in the North Sea in the late 1960s, oil and gas production became an important part of Norway’s industrial sector. Oil and gas are very important to the Norwegian economy. They will continue to be important for Norway, although there will also be a focus on a green shift because of climate challenges.

Today, most jobs are found in the service occupations. This means that anyone looking for a job in Norway has a good chance of finding work in a shop, health care facility, school, kindergarten or in the personal transport sector. There are also many jobs available in occupations related to the development of new information technologies.