Business and industry in Norway - 3) The service sector

The service sector encompasses a wide range of industries, cf the figure below. This sector covers everything from service industries that are decentralised in accordance with Norway’s settlement patterns to services offered in a market exposed to international competition.

In Norway, as in other OECD countries, the number of people employed in manufacturing has fallen over the past few decades, while the number employed in the service sector has grown. The value-creation in Norway’s service sector grew by 60 per cent from 1979-1996. There is a close connection between the development of industry and the development of the service sector. Increased industrial processing and innovation is important for stimulating the further development of the service sector and vice versa. As a result of rising globalisation and the extensive use of communication technology and e-commerce, several types of services have been increasingly exposed to international competition.

The service sector is highly labour intensive and dominated by small and medium-sized companies. The private-services sector contains a large number of self-employed persons. However, the trend in the service sector is towards greater numbers of large, nationwide chains. The next few pages contain a description of the shipping industry, the wholesale and retail trades, the travel industry, the building and construction sector and the business-services sector.

3) The service sector

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