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Job crisis in Norway's oil sector starting to level out

Employment among those with advanced training in the Norwegian offshore sector is higher today than a year ago, according to new numbers published by a union – though the union warns that the crisis is not yet over.

Employment in the Norwegian oil and gas sector looks to be rising after the massive downturn that struck Norway's offshore sector in the North Sea when the oil price plunged back in the summer 2014.

According to a new survey published by Norwegian union Tekna, which organizes highly trained workers, the downturn could be leveling out, and there are currently fewer unemployed people than in the same period last year, says Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg, chairman of Tekna, to Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv.

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94 percent are employed against 90 percent a year ago, and the number of unemployed workers has dropped 1.3 percentage points from 5.6 percent in May 2016 to 4.3 percent in May this year.

"But the crisis in the oil sector is not over yet, and we worry about one thing in particular. Around 70 percent of the unemployed workers have been without work for more than six months. This is a very high figure, which means that the labor market remains challenging," says Randeberg.

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The Tekna survey also shows that one in eight oil engineers, or 12.5 percent, have switched sectors.

Close to 50,000 jobs in the sector have disappeared during the downturn.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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