Between 2011 and 2012 the total inflow of persons to Norway decreased slightly to 78 600, although this still represented an immigration rate of almost 16 immigrants per 1 000 inhabitants.
Norway is characterised by very high levels of migration from within the European Economic Area (EEA) and growing but small scale labour migration from countries outside the EEA. In this context, the challenge for managing discretionary labour migration is to ensure it complements EEA flows. High-skilled workers who come to Norway often leave, even if their employer would like to keep them. Norway has many international students, but most appear to leave at graduation or in the years that follow. The spouses of skilled migrants – usually educated and talented themselves – face challenges in finding employment, and this may cause the whole family to leave. Key industries in smaller population centres wonder how they will source talent in the future. This review examines these aspects of the Norwegian labour migration system. It considers the efficiency of procedures and whether the system is capable of meeting demand. It looks at several policy measures that were implemented and withdrawn, and assesses how these and other mechanisms could be better applied. The characteristics and behaviour of past labour migrants is examined to suggest means of encouraging promising immigrants to remain, and how Norway might attract the specific labour migrants from which it can most benefit in the future.
This publication reviews the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in three OECD countries (Austria, Norway and Switzerland) and provides country-specific recommendations. It also includes a summary chapter highlighting common challenges and policy responses. It is the third and last in a series which has covered eleven OECD countries.