Employment in Denmark grows for ninth consecutive month but is it sustainable?

Restaurants were among businesses in Denmark to increase employment figures in October 2021.
Restaurants were among businesses in Denmark to increase employment figures in October 2021. Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Berlingske/Ritzau Scanpix
The number of people on the jobs market in Denmark increased in October for the ninth consecutive month, but analysts have raised concerns about the sustainability of labour shortages.

A further 12,000 people were hired on October, meaning the overall employment figure ticked upwards to 2,895,000. The data were published by Statistics Denmark.

Although the trend has been described as “impressive”, analysts have also raised concerns about its potential to limit economic growth.

“This gives fuel to a growing concern over whether the speed (of employment growth) is too high for the Danish economy. We are not currently in an overheating, but the risk is growing,” senior economist with Arbejdernes Landsbank, Jeppe Juul Borre, told news wire Ritzau.

The current place of employment is not sustainable due to the demand for labour, another expert said.

“The labour shortage is a genuine obstacle for (economic) growth in Denmark and there’s also quite a clear risk that we will come into a period with unsustainable wage increases, which could be the basis of the next crisis,” Danske Bank senior economist Lars Olsen said.

Sectors to have hired the most people in November include the hotel and restaurant industry, where employment figures had been recovering from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Recently-announced Covid-19 restrictions are set to impact other sectors, notably the culture and leisure sectors, throughout the winter.

READ ALSO: The new Covid-19 restrictions now in effect in Denmark

Senior economist Tore Stramer of the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) said he did not expect the closure of businesses including cinemas and theatres during the winter to have a significant impact on employment.

“Our expectation is that businesses generally will refrain from letting staff go as a result of the general labour shortage,” Stramer said.

“Finally, experience from earlier waves (of Covid-19) shows that activity quickly increases again once restrictions are lifted,” he added in a written comment to Ritzau.


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