According to new figures from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment, 42,847 people registered as unemployed between March 9 and March 24, compared to the 13,156 over the same period in 2019. This has taken the number of unemployed people in the country to 160,697.
“Unfortunately, unemployment is rising as a consequence of the health crisis,” Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard, told Danish public broadcaster DR.
“Fortunately, the increase is somewhat less than a week ago, but the situation is still very serious.”
On Tuesday, 3,096 people registered as unemployed, a slight fall on the 4,082 who registered on Tuesday last week, but still nearly triple the thousand or so seen weekly in recent year.
“It is scary that so many people are losing their jobs because of the corona crisis,” Steen Nielsen, Deputy Director of the Confederation of Danish Industry. “We are now in the third week of the crisis, and unfortunately there are no signs of improvement.”
Denmark's government on March 13 launched a new scheme which allowed companies to temporarily reduce employees' hours, with their wages then supplemented out of unemployment benefits.
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The hope was that this would encourage companies not to send employees home rather than laying them off.
The Danish Business Authority on Wednesday began taking the first applications for this wage compensation scheme, and its website has since been overloaded with requests, forcing companies to wait in a queue.