Employment number in Denmark reaches record level

January 2018 saw the highest number of wage earners ever in Denmark.

Employment number in Denmark reaches record level
File photo: Malte Kristiansen/Ritzau Scanpix

Figures from Statistics Denmark show that 2,728,800 people were employed in the month, beating a previous record dating from April 2008.

The statistics are based on registrations with the Skat tax agency, with all wage earners in bith private and public sectors included regardless of number of working hours.

All persons between 16-64 years of age living in Denmark are included.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen wrote in a press statement that the figures “brought warmth to a cold spring day”.

“[The numbers] hit home with a seven-inch hammer the fact that things are going well in Denmark. Never before have these figures shown so many wage-earners in work,” the PM wrote.

“Earlier this week we also had the good news that figures for state support [offentlig forsørgelse, ed.] are at their lowest for more than 10 years. There is real reason for optimism,” he added.

The number of people in employment is one of several indicators as to the health of the Danish labour market.

Another indicator is the number of people receiving state income payments. That figure reached its lowest level since 2007 in the final quarter of 2017.

A total of 718,200 people are receiving state support for their income, not including student grants.

The Confederation of Danish Employers (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) said that the numbers also indicated a risk of overheating on the jobs market.

“The Danish record is also evidence that it is time to exercise timely caution,” DA director Jacob Holbraad said.

“An overheating is lurking around the corner and if we don’t find a solution to companies’ increasing lack of labour supply, this positive change could soon take a bleak turn,” Holbraad said.

But the Economic Council of the Labour Movement (Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd, ECLM) said it saw no such cause for concern.

“We are seeing very moderate wage increases. If there were problems finding labour, there would be bigger wage increases than we are seeing now,” ECLM lead economist Erik Bjørsted said.

“We should also remember that we are sending thousands out on to the labour market. We have implemented reforms that enable us to look forward to a significant increase in the labour force in coming years,” Bjørsted added.

READ ALSO: Denmark's upswing will fizzle out without more workers: DI


Labour shortage hits half of Danish companies in construction sector

A record-high shortage of labour at some Danish companies is exacerbated in some places by a lack of materials, according to new data.

A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour.
A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The construction industry reports a lack of labour at around half of all companies, according to a survey by Statistics Denmark, based on responses from businesses.

In the service industry, which includes restaurants, hotels and cleaning, one in three companies reported a lack of workforce.

Some industries, notable machinery related businesses, also said they are short of materials currently.

The lack of labour is holding the Danish economy back, according to an analyst.

“Never before have we seen such a comprehensive lack of labour in the Danish economy,” senior economist Søren Kristensen of Sydbank said.

“It’s a shame and it’s a genuine problem for a significant number of the businesses which at the moment are losing revenue as a consequence of the lack of labour,” Kristensen continued.

“That is costly, including for all of Denmark’s economic growth. Even though we on one side can be pleased that it’s going well for the Danish economy, we can also regret that it could have been even better,” the economist said in a comment to news wire Ritzau.

Despite the lack of labour, businesses have their most positive outlook for years, according to Statistics Denmark.

The data agency based its conclusions on a large volume of responses from companies related to revenues, orders and expectations for the future.

The numbers are processed into a measure termer business confidence or erhvervstillid in Danish. The October score for the metric is 118.7, the highest since 2010, although there are differences between sectors.

READ ALSO: Are international workers the answer to Denmark’s labour shortage?