While highlighting a decline in the number of jobless, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) also reported a disproportionately high unemployment rate among immigrants.
While around 14 percent of Norway's population of 5.2 million is defined as immigrants, these newcomers account for over 40 percent of those registered as fully unemployed by the NAV. Among immigrants, the unemployment rate is 5.9 percent, as opposed to only 1.7 percent among people who were born in the country, the daily newspaper Nettavisen reported.
Immigrants from Eastern Europe performed best, the unemployment rate among this segment of the population has dropped compared with last year. By contrast, immigrants from Africa performed worst, with an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, followed by immigrants from Asia with 6.8 percent.
Second-generation immigrants had difficulty keeping up with the general population, Statistics Norway reported. In the 15-29 age bracket, which accounts for most of the Norwegian-born second-generation immigrants, the unemployment rate was recorded at 6 percent, almost three times higher than that of their Norwegian peers (2.2 percent).
Last week, NAV published a report highlighting immigration as a source of inequality in Norway. Immigrants' children, single parents and young adults were named the most economically vulnerable groups, generally having poorer health and less social contact. Over 500,000 Norwegian residents experience daily financial challenges, partly due to problems related to immigration. According to the report, over 101,000 children live in low-income families, 54.5 percent of which are immigrant families.
"Since many immigrant groups have a lower job participation than the rest of the population, increased immigration leads to a larger proportion of low-income population. The risk of low income is five times higher in households without a stable connection to the labour market," NAV knowledge director Yngvar Åsholt said, as quoted by the news outlet Document.
In 2016, 52 percent of the working-age recipients of welfare were immigrants, Document reported.