NHO reports increase in membership

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The number of member companies of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) increased by around 2,000 during 1996. NHO aims for a further growth in membership towards the year 2000.

Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon (NHO,Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry) has reported an increase in membership. At the end of 1996 more than 13,500 firms were members of NHO's branch associations. This is the highest figure since NHO was established in 1989. NHO's member firms produce 381,000 person-years of work annually, and employ approximately 430,000 persons.

NHO increased its membership by approximately 2,000 firms from 1995 to 1996. The merger between the independent organisation for smaller hotels and restaurants(Forbundet for Overnatting- og Serveringsnæringen,FOS) and the Norwegian Hotel and Restaurant Association is a major explanatory factor for the increase in membership. The two organisations merged to form a new nationwide branch association associated to NHO. Approximately 1,500 of the 2,000 new member firms can be directly linked to this merger.

The majority of firms affiliated to NHO are from the manufacturing sector and approximately three-quarters of person-hours worked within the NHO area come from these firms. Other sectors which are mainly covered by NHO are building and construction, transport, petroleum and hotels and restaurants. Sectors such as the wholesale and retail trade, and banking and insurance have their own employers' organisations independent of NHO. NHO organises only a small percentage of firms in these sectors of the economy. The degree of employer organisation in Norway varies significantly between the different sectors, with the total estimate for the private sector standing at around 55%. NHO's member firms employ approximately 35% of wage-earners in the private sector (according to figures from the Institute for Applied Social Science, Fafo).

NHO's aim is to reach 20,000 member firms by the year 2000. While there is considerable competition between Norwegian employee organisations, this has not been the case on the employers' side. However, in the future we may see more rivalry over members on the employers' side as well: competition may pick up in areas such as independent public enterprises, the wholesale and retail sector and other service sectors.

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