One in ten wage earners in Denmark is a foreign national

The number of foreign citizens employed in Denmark has increased by 75,000 since 2014, according to figures from Statistics Denmark.

One in ten wage earners in Denmark is a foreign national
File photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix 2018

That means that one in ten people currently earning a living on the Danish labour market was born outside of Denmark, an increase from one in 14 a decade ago, media TV2 reports.

Figures used in the report come from national statistics agency Statistics Denmark (DST).

In 2018, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Germany were the top four contributing countries to Denmark’s foreign-national workforce, according to the figures. Lithuania, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Kingdom, Iraq and Iran completed the top ten.

All ten countries, as well as Thailand, which was included in a graphic tweeted by DST, have seen an increased number of their citizens working in Denmark over the last five years.

The trend is a positive one for the Danish economy, given that it reflects an increasing need for labour in the country since the end of the last decade, according to Peter Halkjær, head labour market specialist with the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv).

“Employment has been increasing, and still is. As long as the need for labour continues to increase faster than the available work force is able to keep up, there is no way you can run in to the problem of labour from abroad limiting the chances of finding work for Danish wage earners,” Halkjær told TV2.

A combination of reasons is likely to be behind the steady increase in foreign nationals working in Denmark, Jonas Felbo-Kolding, a labour market researcher at the University of Copenhagen, told the broadcaster.

These include a high demand for labour in several sectors, and increasing overall employment percentages amongst foreign nationals over time.

The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), a private interest organisation made up of approximately 10,000 Danish companies within manufacturing, service and trade, has on several occasions stressed the need for Denmark to attract skilled employees from abroad.

READ ALSO: Denmark must be better at selling itself to foreign talents: CEO

FIND THE ONE FOR YOU: Thousands of English-language jobs in Denmark


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


READER QUESTION: Do Denmark’s residency rules allow you to take a side job?

A reader asked about what the rules are for taking a second side job if you have a work permit or residency permit in Denmark. Here are the rules.

READER QUESTION: Do Denmark's residency rules allow you to take a side job?

READER QUESTION: If I came in pre-Brexit on the grounds of self sufficiency, and I’m on a temporary residency permit, am I allowed to do a bit of self employed work to top my funds up?

For this reader, the rules are quite clear.

“A temporary residence permit granted according to the Withdrawal Agreement (Brexit) also includes the right to work in Denmark – even though the person has resided in Denmark on grounds of sufficient resources or as an economically inactive person,” the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), told The Local via email. 

But for other non-EU citizens, here under one of Denmark’s many job schemes, such as the Fast-track scheme, Pay limit scheme, and the Positive lists, or under the various researcher schemes, the rules are more complicated. 

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

You are generally allowed to get a second job, but you may have to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, (find information from SIRI here), and also fulfil various conditions. 

If you are a researcher with a permit under the Researcher scheme or the Researcher track under the Fast-track scheme, a Guest researcher, a PhD student, a performing artist or a professional athlete or coach, you are allowed to take up unlimited sideline employment without needing to apply for an additional work permit for sideline employment. 

If, however, you are employed as a researcher under the Pay Limit Scheme, then you have to apply for a special work permit for sideline employment.

People who received their residency permits under the Jobseeker scheme are not eligible for a sideline employment permit. 

For the other job schemes, you need to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, find information from SIRI here.

“For sideline employment, the salary must be the standard one for the job, and within the same area of ​​work as the main occupation,” SIRI said. 

For example, a musician might want a permit for sideline employment as an instructor at an academy of music, or a doctor might want a permit for sideline employment to teach at a medical school. 

You can be granted a sideline permit for as long as as the duration of your main work permit. 

If you lose your sideline job, you must inform SIRI. If you lose the main job that is the basis for your main work permit, your sideline job permit is automatically invalidated.