Historical archive

Norwegian Wage Settlements in 2013

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Labour

Press release from the Norwegian Technical Calculation Committee for Wage Settlements: The basis for wage settlements in 2013. Preliminary report.

Committee chairman Ådne Cappelen. Photo: Ministry of Labour

Press release from the Norwegian Technical Calculation Committee for Wage Settlements: The basis for wage settlements in 2013. Preliminary report.

The report outlines recent years’ developments in pay, incomes, prices, macroeconomic development and competitiveness. The Committee also presents a forecast of consumer price growth from 2012 to 2013 and briefly describes prospects for the international economy and the Norwegian economy. The report is based partly on preliminary statistics and estimates for 2012. Parts of the report will therefore be updated by early April, and will include figures for pay by gender and education.

Summary of main findings

The Calculation Committee estimates average pay growth from 2011 to 2012 for wage earners as a whole to 4 per cent. For employees in the major bargaining areas, the Committee estimates a wage growth of 4 per cent. Differences in pay growth between the major bargaining areas were smaller in 2012 than in 2011. The pay growth varied between 3.0 per cent and 4.2 per cent.

The wage carry-over into 2013 is estimated to an average of 1¾ per cent for employees in the main bargaining areas, about ¾ percentage point higher than in 2012. The estimates for 2013 varies from 0.7 per cent for retail trade employees in firms affiliated to Virke to 2½ per cent for local government employees.

Average real after-tax pay for wage earners increased by 3.2 per cent from 2011 to 2012, compared with 2.9 per cent the previous year. Lower consumer price inflation in 2012 than in 2011 increased growth in real after-tax pay, while somewhat lower pay growth pulled in the opposite direction.

The Committee forecasts an average consumer price growth of about 1.5 per cent from 2012 to 2013. The actual figure for 2012 was 0.8 per cent. The uncertainty in the inflation forecast for 2013 relates partly to energy prices, which often fluctuate widely through the year; but developments in the krone exchange rate and oil price are also uncertain.

The Calculation Committee presents a number of quantified indicators to describe Norwegian business and industry’s international competitive position. Several of these components, in particular cost indicators, suggest a weakened situation for Norwegian firms in recent years. This picture contrasts somewhat with the figures for employment and actual production output in Norway compared with other countries.  

Cost competitiveness in manufacturing, measured by relative hourly wage costs in a common currency, has weakened over the past years. From 2011 to 2012 higher growth in wage costs in Norway than among our trading partners along with an appreciation of the Norwegian currency caused relative hourly wage costs in Norway measured in a common currency to rise by 3 per cent. Exchange rate movements accounted for just over 1.6 percentage points of this figure.

Average hourly wage costs in manufacturing in Norway in 2012 were an estimated 61 per cent higher than a trade-weighted average of our EU trading partners, measured in a common currency. For manual manufacturing employees alone, Norwegian hourly wage costs are estimated to be 64 per cent higher than among Norway’s trading partners in the EU. The higher wage costs reflect to some degree the higher productivity and income level in Norwegian manufacturing industry.

Table 1. Annual pay growth from 2010 to 2011 and from 2011 to 2012 and wage carry-over into 2013 in some bargaining areas


Pay growth from 2010 to 2011 in per cent

Pay growth from 2011 to 2012 in per cent

Wage carry-over into 2013 in per cent

Manual manufacturing employees
at firms affiliated to NHO1



Non-manual manufacturing employees at firms affiliated to NHO1




Employees at firms affiliated to Virke2, retail trade




Employees in financial services




Central government employees



Local government employees



Employees at firms affiliated to Spekter3, excluding health trusts




Health trust employees



  1. Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
  2. Federation of Norwegian Enterprises
  3. An employers’ association.


Contact person for further information:
Committee chairman Ådne Cappelen, Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå)
Telephone: + 47 488 82 950 
E-mail: adne.cappelen@ssb.no