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Oil industry has fewer workers

Employment in Norway's oil industry has dropped sharply since last year. The fall reflects less exploration activity and tougher economic times.

Employment in Norway's oil industry has dropped sharply since last year. The fall reflects less exploration activity and tougher economic times.

State employment statistics showed that the number of people working in the oil business fell 7 percent from August of last year to the same month this year.

Around 76,000 people were employed in the oil industry in August, down by 5,500 from the prior year.

Companies involved in Norway's construction industry also reported lower employment levels, as did engineering firms and shipowning companies.

While Norway's two biggest oil companies nonetheless have reported solid results recently, construction giant Veidekke said Thursday that profits tumbled.

Veidekke reported pre-tax earnings of NOK 58 million for the third quarter. That's down by NOK 22 million from the same quarter last year. It blamed the drop on the phase-out of a steel operation in Sweden.