Coronavirus More Than Doubles Norwegian Unemployment Rate

TOPSHOT - Norway's Marit Bjoergen is lifted by her compatriots as she waves the Norwegian flag after winning gold in the women's 30km cross country mass start classic at the Alpensia cross country ski centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang. / AFP …
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Coronavirus is already having a massive effect on the economy of Norway, with the unemployment rate more than doubling to 164,000 people.

The statistics were released by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) this week and show that as of Tuesday, March 17th, the overall unemployment rate had jumped to 5.8 per cent as 84,000 people were laid off in just a week.

“The Norwegian economy and the Norwegian labour market are in a very demanding period, and this is already reflected in layoffs and rising unemployment. Such is the situation now, NAV expects unemployment to continue to increase,” Labor and Welfare Director Sigrun Vågeng said.

The county of Trøndelag saw the largest unemployment increase at 153 per cent, while the largest industrial sector to be affected was tourism and transport which collectively saw an unemployment increase by a massive 299 per cent.

The coronavirus outbreak has also affected female unemployment far more than male unemployment with women seeing a 170 per cent increase compared to 99 per cent for men.

The NAV has decided to publish unemployment statistics every week, rather than every month, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold.

The coronavirus pandemic, combined with the falling price of oil, has led to crashes in stock markets across the globe with the U.S. Dow Industrial Average seeing several record days of point losses in the last week.

The tourism sector has been hit hardest by the various travel shutdowns enacted by many countries and the European Union which closed its borders for a 30-day period earlier this week.

Airlines, in particular, have been put into crisis as a result of coronavirus with woke Scandinavian airline SAS increasingly looking like it will require a major bailout to keep operating, according to economist Joakim Bornold.

Both the French and Italian governments have also not ruled out the nationalisation of their major airlines in order to keep the companies afloat.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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