Nofima reports

Use of layoffs and foreign workers in fish Processing. Descriptive statistics and quantitative and qualitative analysis

Henriksen, Edgar; Pettersen, Ingrid Kristine; Zhang, Dengjun

Publication details

Publisher: Nofima AS

Issue: 21/2017

Number of pages: 46

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 978-82-8296-505-7

Open Access: green


The general picture is that the number employed in the Norwegian seafood processing industry has remained relatively stable over the period from 2003–2013 of approximately 10,000. The number of employees in salmon processing industry increased while employees in the pelagic industry have had declined.
Norwegian permanent employees decreased from 88 % to 58 %. In addition, hired labor, especially in seasonal fishing, significantly increases the foreign laborers in the processing industry. There is no reason to believe that this trend has declined and now probably (August 2017) less than half of the employees are Norwegians. The increased share of foreign labor comes primarily from the EEA after the expansion in 2004 and 2007.
The use of layoffs has decreased. Easy access to foreign workers, who are willing to accept seasonal contracts, as well as the possibilities to rent labor from agencies, reduces the need for full-year employees as well as using the lay-off scheme. The increase in foreign labor suggest that the fish processing industry still struggles to compete for Norwegian labor, but that this industry is highly competitive in the EEA labor market.