Danish labour market under maximum pressure: report

Denmark’s labour market is under the most pressure among the 33 countries compared in a new report.

Danish labour market under maximum pressure: report
Photo: yanlev/Depositphotos

The indications should be taken seriously, says the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk industri, DI).

The report indicates that Denmark is among the countries currently experiencing the fastest growing gap between vacant positions and heads to fill them, writes

Published by global recruitment agency Hays in collaboration with Oxford Economics, the report shows that, among the 33 countries compared, Denmark is the country in which labour market conditions have come under the most pressure in the past year.

According to the Hays Global Skills Index, Denmark’s score has increased from 5.8 in 2016 to 6.4 in 2017. For all the 33 countries included in the report, the overall index has fallen slightly, from 5.4 to 5.3. 

“We’re generally facing a ‘qualification crisis’. Denmark’s score increased by more than any other country this year, indicating that employers may have a harder time attracting and retaining talented workers,” said Morten Andersen, business director at Hays Denmark.

The Hays Global Skills Index is a score from 1-10, based on seven equally weighted indicators such as education flexibility, labour market flexibility and wage pressure. A score over five in the index indicates a labour market under pressure. The index has been measured on an annual basis since 2012. 

A significant cause for Denmark’s high score is the increasing amount of vacant positions that cannot be filled, the report from Hays indicates.

Steen Nielsen, deputy director with the Confederation of Danish Industry, said the report offers yet another picture of a Danish labour market under pressure. 

“It is interesting to see that Denmark in particular is experiencing rising pressure. This is in line with our own studies showing that nearly 4 out of 10 of our member companies have had difficulty recruiting qualified employees,” Nielsen said. 

He also notes that there seems to be particular difficulty in relation to filling high-skilled positions. 

“It is completely crucial that we open up opportunities further so that we can attract qualified foreign labour. Unfortunately, the increase of the pay limit in the pay limit scheme has made it even more difficult in the past year for companies to recruit labour from outside the EU. This is a step in the wrong direction, which serves to increase pressure on the labour market rather than easing it,” he said. 



Number of unsuccessful recruitments in Denmark reaches ten-year high

70,300 times in the course of the past six months, Danish employers have not been able to find the right candidate for the job.

Number of unsuccessful recruitments in Denmark reaches ten-year high
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Private and public sector employers were forced to abandon attempts to find the right candidate for a job 70,300 times in the course of the past six months, a survey by the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment has found.

That is the highest level in the past ten years, and the number increased by 3,600 compared to the preceding six-month period, writes

The figures are painful viewing for both businesses and the Danish economy, according to DI, a private interest organisation made up of approximately 10,000 Danish companies within manufacturing, service and trade.

“Companies were already having difficulty finding employees, and in recent months it has only become harder. This limits the ability of companies to take advantage of the current market demand. In the IT sector and in industry, over half of companies are forced to produce less because they’re lacking employees,” said DI director Steen Nielsen.

Nielsen said that he believes this should be a wake-up call for politicians, who have a responsibility to ensure sufficient labour for companies.

“It’s painful for companies to have to turn down orders – and it’s painful for the Danish economy. We need to bring more qualified foreign workers to Denmark, we need to get everyone who is fit for work into jobs, and we need to retain the older employees who have been key to growth in recent years,” he said.

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