Denmark's foreign workforce hits record high

The Local Denmark
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Denmark's foreign workforce hits record high
File photo: Anne Bæk/Ritzau Scanpix

Over 380,000 foreign nationals were employed in Denmark in 2018, a record number for internationals working in the country.


A total of 384,000 foreign citizens worked in Denmark last year, broadcaster TV2 reports.

Agriculture, cleaning and the restaurant industry were three areas that saw a particularly high number of foreigners working, according to the report.

Around one in three employed in Denmark’s agriculture, forestry and fishing industries is a foreign national, while one in ten of the overall workforce hails from abroad.

“In relation to other countries, the proportion of foreign nationals on the Danish labour market is not especially high. And it is likely to increase further. Because these workers are absolutely necessary if we are to maintain economic growth,” DE’s labour market chief Peter Halkær told TV2.

Researcher Jens Arnholz of the University of Copenhagen’s Employment Relations Research Centre, told the broadcaster there was “nothing to suggest we will see fewer foreigners coming here to work.”

In its report, TV2 raises concerns about social dumping, the practice of hiring workers from other economies – such as eastern European EU countries – for lower wages than would be given to local workers. The construction industry is highlighted as one in which this occurs.

But Halkjær told the media that Danish companies generally complied with rules designed to prevent the practice.

“These workers are necessary and valuable, and it is fortunately rare for companies to employ on conditions that would not be covered by a Danish union-employer agreement, if one applies. It’s also rare in general for employees not to be treated fairly,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish transport firm admits to poor conditions for foreign drivers



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