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Employment decline slows in Norwegian fishing industry

NORWAY - According to Fiskeriforskning's preliminary analyses, the decline in employment in the Norwegian fishing industry is on the verge of slowing down, but there is no reason to hope for more jobs.

Since 2000, almost 4,000 jobs in the fishing industry have disappeared. FinnmarkCounty has been hardest hit, where almost six out of ten jobs have been lost during the last six years.

About 300 fewer people were employed in the Norwegian fishing industry in 2006 than in 2005.

From 2005 to 2006, there were approximately 300 fewer employees in the Norwegian fishing industry as a whole, which was a smaller decline than we have seen in the last five years.

"There are many indications that the profitability of the Norwegian fishing industry was somewhat improved in 2006", says Scientist Bjørn Inge Bendiksen. This may have contributed to a reduction in the loss of workplaces. However, many companies are still struggling with weak earnings.

No growth in the near future

Because of poor profitability in recent years, many large companies have shut down their activities or greatly reduced their workforce. At the same time, there has been a considerable rationalisation of operations within the industry. For example, more salmon and trout are being slaughtered than before, despite the fact that the number of salmon slaughterhouses has decreased, and that they have fewer employees.

"We will no doubt see that rationalisation and use of technology will contribute to a reduced need for labour in the coming years as well. Accordingly, we can hardly expect any future growth in employment in the Norwegian fishing industry", Bendiksen believes.

More foreign employees

New statistics also show an increase in the number of employees who do not have their residence in Norway. Last year, this group accounted for 8 % of the workforce in the fishing industry, representing a doubling in the course of two years.

Large regional differences exist in the number of foreign workers. Sør-Trøndelag has the most, where 30 % of everyone who works in the fishing industry is in Norway for a short term.

Each year, Fiskeriforskning conducts a profitability analysis of the Norwegian fishing industry. The final results of the analysis will be available in the autumn.

the Fish Site Editor

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