According to Statistics Norway (SSB), the percentage of jobless rose to 4.8 this January, which equates to 134,000 people. Since May 2014, the number of the unemployed is reported to have increased by 47,000.
This said, unemployment in Norway is now more in line with other economies. In Germany 4.3 percent are currently out of work, compared with 4.9 percent in the US, 7.0 percent in Sweden and 8.9 percent in the EU in general.
Unemployment turned out to be higher than previously expected, says chief analyst Erik Bruce of Nordea Markets.
"Today's numbers fit well into a picture where unemployment is gradually rising," he wrote in a commentary.
In this year's budget, Norway's center-right government has included a stimulus package of 4 billion NOK (roughly 0.5 billion USD) specifically to target unemployment. The opposition believes, however, the measures to be insufficient, with the Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet) proposing an alternative package of measures of 7 billion NOK (roughly 0.85 billion USD).
"We need a helpful policy, not a government who believes that tax cuts are the answer to any challenge for the Norwegian economy," says spokesperson Marianne Marthinsen of Norway's Labor Party.