Employment increases amongst non-Western nationalities in Denmark

A significant number of Syrian, Turkish and Iraqi nationals have entered the Danish jobs market in recent years, new data from Statistics Denmark shows.

Employment increases amongst non-Western nationalities in Denmark
File photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

For Syrians between the ages of 25 and 64, the employment rate increased from 12.2 percent in 2015 to 43.2 percent in 2019, the figures show.

The increase follows a reduction in employment amongst Syrians in Denmark in the first half of the 2010s.

Between 2010 and 2015, employment frequency in people from Syria fell from 29.1 percent in 2010 to 12.2 percent five years later.

The reversal of the trend and sharp increase in the following five years to 2019 reflects the large number of Syrian refugees who came to the country, peaking in the middle years of the decade.

Employment amongst the group is related to the length of time for which they have resided in Denmark, and how many have come to the country.

For Turkish people of the same age range, employment increased from 53 percent in 2010 to 57.8 percent in 2019. For Iraqi nationals, employment levels are lower but also increased in the 2010-2019 period, from 34.5 percent to 44.8 percent.

The much larger increase in employment amongst Syrians is related to the amount of time spent in Denmark, according to Ritzau’s report – in 2015, many had recently arrived as refugees.

A large proportion of Iraqi nationals in Denmark came to the country as refugees, while for Turkish nationals family reunification played a more prominent role.

For ethnic Danes aged 25-64 years, employment stood at 77.3 percent in 2010, increasing to 81 percent by 2019.

Statistics Denmark writes that the difference in employment levels between Danes and foreign nationals in general has narrowed in recent years, even though it remains higher for Danish nationals in comparison with Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian residents.

The three nationalities comprised the largest three groups of non-Western nationals living in Denmark in the 2010s.

READ ALSO: Denmark's immigration and emigration is mostly to and from Western countries

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Labour shortage hits half of Danish companies in construction sector

A record-high shortage of labour at some Danish companies is exacerbated in some places by a lack of materials, according to new data.

A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour.
A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The construction industry reports a lack of labour at around half of all companies, according to a survey by Statistics Denmark, based on responses from businesses.

In the service industry, which includes restaurants, hotels and cleaning, one in three companies reported a lack of workforce.

Some industries, notable machinery related businesses, also said they are short of materials currently.

The lack of labour is holding the Danish economy back, according to an analyst.

“Never before have we seen such a comprehensive lack of labour in the Danish economy,” senior economist Søren Kristensen of Sydbank said.

“It’s a shame and it’s a genuine problem for a significant number of the businesses which at the moment are losing revenue as a consequence of the lack of labour,” Kristensen continued.

“That is costly, including for all of Denmark’s economic growth. Even though we on one side can be pleased that it’s going well for the Danish economy, we can also regret that it could have been even better,” the economist said in a comment to news wire Ritzau.

Despite the lack of labour, businesses have their most positive outlook for years, according to Statistics Denmark.

The data agency based its conclusions on a large volume of responses from companies related to revenues, orders and expectations for the future.

The numbers are processed into a measure termer business confidence or erhvervstillid in Danish. The October score for the metric is 118.7, the highest since 2010, although there are differences between sectors.

READ ALSO: Are international workers the answer to Denmark’s labour shortage?