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Small drop in unemployment in Denmark: report

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Small drop in unemployment in Denmark: report
File photo: Torben Åndahl/Polfot/Ritzau
11:19 CET+01:00
A slight drop in unemployment levels in Denmark was not enough to change the overall employment figure for the country from its current level of 4.3 percent.

Figures from stats agency Statistics Denmark showed the small reduction in the total number of people out of work, reports news agency Ritzau.

The total figure dropped by 700 people between September and October and now stands at 116,400 full-time workers.

That figure is not quite enough to impact the statistic as a percentage, which remains at 4.3 percent unemployment.

But October did see the third consecutive month in which unemployment fell, with employers voicing concerns that unemployed people are taking too long to return to the jobs market.

“The receding drop in unemployment is a sign that there are increasing problems with regard to getting the remaining labour pool to apply for work, even though the opportunities for employment are almost historically favourable,” Peter Halkjær, chief political consultant on labour market issues with the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) told Ritzau.

Both the Confederation of Danish Industry and Confederation of Danish Employers have responded similarly to the trend, according to Ritzau’s report, saying that businesses in Denmark are short of labour.

The Danish Economic Council of the Labour Movement (Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd) called for a measured approach to the figures.

“Of all unemployed people in a given quarter, almost a third are in work by the following quarter. No other countries in the EU get as many people into jobs as we do here,” the council’s head economist Erik Bjørsted told Ritzau.

Bjørsted added that the labour market is no longer in favour of employers as it was during the height of the global financial crisis.

Anders Christian Overvad, an ecomonist with Danish bank Arbejdernes Landsbank, said that a ‘bottle neck’ in the labour market could result in its overheating.

“Wage increases are rising but are still moderate. That is to a great extent due to the fact that available labour is continually growing as a resulted of already-ratified job reforms and the access to foreign labour. These things combine to take the top of the pressure off the labour market,” Overvad told Ritzau.

During the first six months of 2017, Denmark’s unemployment level stayed at 4.3 percent, before jumping to 4.5 percent in July. That increase may though have been connected to the way the figure is measured, according to Statistics Denmark.

READ ALSO: Danish labour market under maximum pressure: report

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