File - The energy sector’s dominance in the Norwegian economy means its troubles will cast a pall over the wider economy.
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Oil slump threatens easy life of affluent NorwegiansLosing his job on a Norwegian oil rig meant more to Kristoffer Sandberg than saying goodbye to a high salary. After a decade of an oil-and-gas boom, plunging energy prices are shaking Norwegians out of a Utopian reverie that guaranteed workers lengthy summer vacations, generous health and social benefits, and allowed them to leave work at 4 p.m. and even earlier on Fridays.Sandberg is selling his new S-Class Mercedes and moving to Singapore to help oversee the construction of a giant oil rig, in the hope of retaining even a bit of his old lifestyle. But he'll have to work longer hours and won't be rewarded with the four-week breaks for every two weeks of labor enjoyed by offshore workers here.So for those Norwegians left with jobs, there is no imminent end to welfare perks like five weeks of annual paid holiday, the highest sickness benefits in the world and shorter working hours than elsewhere.
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