Jens Stoltenberg believes employment in Norway will rise considerably during the course of this and next year despite the European financial crisis. Meanwhile, he wishes to keep a tight rein on various ministries’ 2012-13 cost levels.
Government officials gathered at the Thorbjørnrud Hotel in Oppland County, eastern Norway for the annual budget conference.
The PM told Dagens Næringsliv (DN), “as things look now, employment will grown by approximately 70,000 people in 2012 and 2013.”
Whilst unemployed Eurozoners stream to the country in search of work, oil-rich Norway is sitting in a sea of milk and honey from a growth and jobs perspective.
“Growth will happen both in the private and public sectors, and we will have the highest rate of employment ever,” continued Prime Minister Stoltenberg, adding unemployment will hold steady at approximately 3.3 percent as the rate of employment and labour force will increase at a parallel rate.
Regarding the Sovereign Wealth Fund, his proposed restrictions will mean spending is well below the four-percent fiscal rule, “providing the share market develops as planned.”
Nevertheless, NRK reports the PM warned ministry officials vying for financial allocations that some will be disappointed because government money does not grow on trees.
“We’ll be spending far too much money if we give all the ministers what they ask for. It would put the Norwegian economy out on a limb.”
Whilst Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen reiterated the need for a responsible use of oil revenues in conjunction with saving.
“It could be easily be that one takes things for granted”, he declared, concerned about a shortage of qualified health personnel to look after the elderly and those who are ill.
“One challenge is to ensure that more people in the labour force wish to work in the municipal welfare sector.”
The conference ends today.
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