Feb. 28 (UPI) — Preliminary data for the fourth quarter show wages in the oil, gas and mining sectors of the Norwegian economy increased, the government reported.
Norway is a main oil and gas producer and one of the central suppliers to the European economy, outside of Russia. Lingering strains from last year’s market downturn are catching up with Norway and production levels have been on a slow decline over the past few months.
The government on Monday reported some signs of recovery as crude oil prices hold above $55 per barrel, nearly double the level from low points last year. Fourth-quarter average wages in the oil, gas and mining sectors were up 0.6 percent, compared with 0.4 percent growth reported in fourth quarter 2015.
Outside of the extractive industries, the strongest gains in wages were reported in the health and social services sector, while construction wages moved lower after reported small gains in fourth quarter 2015.
On the labor front, some recent gains were reported for oil and gas sector employment, though increases were coming off historic lows.
The latest report from Norges Bank, the country’s central bank, found lingering economic strains from energy market factors. Bank Gov. Oystein Olsen said a worst-case scenario never materialized for Norway, but last year’s decline in crude oil prices had curbed economic activity.