Number of new unemployed triples in Denmark after coronavirus lockdown

The number of people registering as unemployed has more than tripled since Denmark's government brought its coronavirus lockdown into force, despite bold measures in place to encourage firms to keep employees.

Number of new unemployed triples in Denmark after coronavirus lockdown
Jobseekers at a branch of Jobcenter in Copenhagen. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix
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. 
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. 

Member comments

  1. How about address the hell-a expensive rent prices? You want foreign workers to stay in Denmark, but how are you incentivizing them? If i get laid off i will leave Denmark and never come back.

    I am also a “skilled” foreigner btw.

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”