Many eastern European workers leaving Norway: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-06 21:54:43|Editor: Zhou Xin
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OSLO, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Many eastern European workers have been leaving Norway due to record low unemployment and increased recruitment in their home countries, newspaper Aftenposten reported Monday.

"We saw a peak in labor immigration in 2012, but we now see that there are fewer, especially Poles and Lithuanians, moving to Norway," said Adrian Haugen Ordemann from Statistics Norway, the country's statistics bureau.

During the recent years, the annual net immigration of Swedish, Lithuanian and Polish nationals to Norway decreased by 16,000. These three nations were the largest groups that emigrated from Norway last year.

At the same time, the figures from Eurostat show that unemployment in Poland has fallen by 4.1 percent in the last four years and is now at its lowest since 1991.

In Lithuania, the number has fallen by 3.9 percent over the last four years, while in Norway it has increased by 1.2 percent in the last four years.

In addition to rising unemployment, the weakening of Norwegian krone exchange rate has made the Norwegian labor market less attractive.

According to Ordemann, for those foreign workers who want to make money in Norway and take it home, the situation "has become relatively less favorable."

Anders Svendsen, chief analyst in financial services group Nordea and expert in Eastern European economy, confirmed to Aftenposten the upswing in the Eastern European labor market.

"There is low unemployment and a large shortage of labor force in key industries in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland," he said.

Svendsen, however, does not believe that the migration back to Eastern Europe would have major conquests for Norway.

"The Poles have kept the professions with the lowest wages in Norway. If there would be a large shortage of labor there, wages will probably be adjusted to make those jobs attractive," he was quoted as saying.

There is, however, one attractive group of workers that Eastern European countries are unable to attract back, Svendsen said.

"A problem Eastern Europe is struggling with is that the young people who move and get education do not move back home. We are talking about a so-called 'brain drain' effect," he explained.

"Young Eastern Europeans see an opportunity to travel to more modern countries to study. It is almost the same as when North Norwegian youths do not come back home after moving to Oslo to study," Svendsen said.