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    Oil and gas company Statoil gas processing and CO2 removal platform Sleipner T is pictured in the offshore near the Stavanger, Norway, February 11, 2016

    Exodus From Nordic Heaven: Scores of Foreign Workers Flee Norway

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    Nordic's oil-rich Norway has traditionally been seen as one of Europe's most stable economies, yet has recently exhibited the warning signs of decay. One of them is that foreign workers are leaving Norway like never before, new figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show.

    Norway's ongoing economic slump has led to a rising unemployment rate, the outlook being particularly disastrous for the country's foreign workers. The grim situation on the work front has spurred many of them to leave the country.

    The current reverse migration trend is more pronounced for Polish workers, with some 3,500 Poles opting to return to their home country. Remarkably, the number of disenchanted migrant workers was also large among Swedes and Germans. The overall number of foreign workers who packed in and left Norway is higher than ever recorded, warned SSB.

    Norway's construction industry is among those particularly affected by the stampede, since a large proportion of workers in this sector are from abroad.

    "It is hard for them to find new jobs because the market is very difficult," Torben Sneve, the CEO of the staffing company Adecco, told the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

    At the beginning of the year, 45 percent of Adecco's employees were foreigners. Today, the figure has sunk to 27 percent.

    Last month, it was reported that Norwegians' confidence in the economy has hit its lowest point for years. One of the reasons for the particularly glum outlook and the Norwegians' pessimism is the depressed oil market. Oil prices have fallen from 115 dollars a barrel in the summer of 2014 to some 40 dollars a barrel today, which has taken its toll on Norway's oil-dependent economy. Along with an expected decline in oil investments, the price drop has led to a distinct decline within the oil and gas industry, triggering further joblessness.

    "A steady job and stable income are the cornerstones of a private economy. Uncertainty makes people more cautious, reduces consumption and increases savings. Hereby, the downturn is strengthened further, and we risk getting into a vicious cycle with accelerating unemployment," Finance Norway CEO Idar Kreutzer told Norwegian national broadcaster NRK.

    Of late, unemployment has risen continuously for two years, reaching a peak of 4.6 percent. Needless to say, the unskilled foreign workers are the ones who were most hard-hit.

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    Oil in Turmoil (129)

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    oil crisis, unemployment, Scandinavia, Norway
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