Danish job losses exceed 80,000 following coronavirus lockdown

Danish job losses exceed 80,000 following coronavirus lockdown
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
The impact of the coronavirus crisis on Denmark’s jobs market has been underlined by new employment figures from Statistics Denmark.

With newly-released figures of 14,000 job losses in May, the total number of people who lost employment in March, April and May reached 87,000.

That is the equivalent of all growth in employment since 2017 being wiped out during the course of the three months.

The numbers are also striking when compared with job losses following the global financial crisis of 2007-8, when the worst month for job losses saw 13,700 people lose employment.

Denmark introduced lockdown measures at the beginning of March to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the Nordic country.

Statistics Denmark notes some level of uncertainty must be attached to the figures, given the unusual and unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus lockdown and its impact on jobs.

 

The numbers do not necessarily reflect all job losses, according to the official data agency. People who were let go with a three-month notice period may not be included in the figures, for example.

In addition to people who have lost their jobs, a further 47,000 are still registered for the government scheme paying employees' salaries on behalf of companies and thereby keeping workers under employment during the crisis.

That scheme is scheduled to expire at the end of the summer.

Up to 15 percent of member companies currently using the scheme have said they will be forced to let staff go once it expires, the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) has said.

“That means that a lot of people who are on wage compensation today can actually expect to return to work when the scheme expires. That’s good news,” Kristian Skriver, an economist with the organisation, said.

“With the wage compensation scheme, job losses could have been much bigger,” he added.

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Jobs in Denmark

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