The northern part of Norway is characterized with long distances, and depopulation. Only 470 000 thousands inhabitants are living in the three northern counties. The three counties are: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. The main sectors in the economic are industry, fishing and tourism.
The unemployment rate has decreased in Troms and Nordland since 2009. In April 2012, 2,8% of the labour force was unemployed in Nordland (this is above the national average of 2,6%). In Troms the unemployment rate was below the national level, and only 2,4 prosent were unemployed. The sectors that were struggling most under the financial crisis are the ones who are experience the most increase of employees. The industry sector was hardly affected in 2008, and now this is one of the sector which are facing the biggest growth in employees. Also construction and transportation sector are increasing their number of employees. However in Finnmark the rate has increased, and the level of unemployed are 3,2%. This is caused by businesses shouting down particularly in the service industry.
The labour market is predicted to have a bright future in the north of Norway, hence to findings of oil and gas in the area, and an increasing industry sector will make it possible create new jobs in the future. Many working immigrates, and population growth in the area is also factors that will help the labour market.