Danish unemployment at lowest level since 2009: stats

Danish unemployment at lowest level since 2009: stats
File photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix
Unemployment in Denmark continues to fall, with latest figures showing the lowest proportion of people out of work for nine years.

Agency Statistics Denmark's numbers showed a decrease in the number of people receiving social welfare support for their income to have decreased by 1,400 in June.

That leaves the total number for the 'net unemployment' measure at 107,300.

“Net unemployment is therefore at its lowest level since 2009, both in terms of the percentage of people unemployed and the number of people in full-time work,” Statisitics Denmark wrote in a press release.

“Until summer 2016, net unemployment was falling, followed by an increase up to July 2017. Since July 2017, there has again been a downward trend,” the statement continued.

According to a different measure, however, unemployment has increased slightly.

Based on spot checks in which people confirm that they are not in employment despite being fit to work, the current number of unemployed is 152,000, up from 148,000 when the number was last recorded in March this year.

Businesses in Denmark have for some time been concerned about a lack of labour, and the Danish Chamber of Commerce (DE) said it was disappointed at the latest employment figures.

“A lack of matching between the skills of jobseekers and the skills required by businesses is part of the explanation,” DE’s labour markets director Peter Halkjær said in a written response to the new employment numbers.

“Nevertheless, it is absurd that business have thousands of unfilled jobs while 107,000 capable jobseekers are without work contracts,” Halkjær added, adding that he supported more stringent demands on unemployed people receiving social welfare support.

The Economic Council of the Labour Movement (ECLM), an economic policy institute and think-tank, said however that businesses should employ more people on the fringes of the labour market and implement more full-time positions.

“Even though the unemployment queue is getting smaller, there are still around 200,000 people in work that want to work more,” ECLM director Lars Andersen wrote.

“If businesses want to increase labour supply then it would be prudent to create more full-time positions, employ more immigrants and refugees and create more internships,” Andersen continued.

“Businesses have for too many years failed to take enough responsibility for the training of future skilled workers,” he said.

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