Denmark has more people in work than before Covid crisis

More people are in work in Denmark than before the coronavirus crisis, according to analysis from the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

A job centre in Copenhagen.
A job centre in Copenhagen. There's been a rise in employment in Denmark since the coronavirus, reports the Danish Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

During the lockdowns in Denmark, unemployment rose sharply and a record number of people were out of work. But now the trend has reversed.

Out of the country’s 98 municipalities, 90 today have more jobs than in the fourth quarter of 2019, and there are 115,000 more employees in Denmark, which is an increase of 4.1 percent.

Ringsted and Brøndby top the list of municipalities with the most jobs. According to the Danish Chamber of Commerce, this may be due to the fact that there are several large companies in those municipalities.

A record number of foreign nationals are also active on the Danish labour market and now comprise over 10 percent of all people in full time employment.

The figure, reported by newspaper Berlingske, comes from an analysis by the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI), which found that 266,000 foreign nationals, reported to be a record number, were working full time in Denmark in October 2021.

As such, foreigners comprise 10.5 percent of total employment, according to the report.

The Danish government is currently negotiating with parliament over potential solutions to labour shortages and the need to attract more international workers.

Several political parties have suggested they favour reducing a minimum salary requirement used to assess work permit applications.

At the moment, you can get a work permit on the pay limit scheme if your salary is at least 448,000 kroner a year. 

The government has proposed that the annual salary requirement be lowered to 375,000 kroner over a two-year period, to allow more international workers into Denmark on the scheme.

However, four conservative parties – the Conservatives, Liberal Alliance, Liberals and Nye Borgerlige (New Right), would like the annual salary permanently reduced to 360,000 kroner but do not want the scheme to include nationals of Muslim countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

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Danish employment drops for first time in 18 months

The number of people in employment in Denmark fell in July after 17 consecutive monthly increases, according to new national data.

Danish employment drops for first time in 18 months

New figures from national agency Statistics Denmark show that there were 5,000 fewer people employed in July compared to the month before.

That decrease follows an extended period during which the record for the total number of people working in the country was consistently broken.

Almost 200,000 additional people were working in Denmark in June 2022 compared to January 2021.

High employment rates are often cited by economists as indicators of a strong economy. The total number for employment in July was 2,953,000 persons.

According to Statistics Denmark, the figure of 5,000 fewer employed comes almost exclusively from the sector defined as “public administration and service” (offentlig forvaltning og service).

Another sector, “businesses and organisations” (virksomheder og organisationer), was stable between the two months.

The new number need not set off any alarm bells but could indicate that a surge in employment subsequent to the coronavirus crisis may have peaked during the summer, an analyst said.

“This high conjuncture with the corona crisis in the background seems to be over. Things aren’t moving forward quite as quickly at the moment,” Nykredit senior economist Palle Sørensen told news wire Ritzau.

“And we are now beginning to be put under strain by the energy crisis that has come to Denmark and Europe in particular,” he said.

“We think that the energy crisis will be the trend-setting event in the coming months: How much individuals should reduce private consumption to pay these record-high energy bills that are being dropped into their post boxes,” he said.

The Statistics Denmark figure for employment is corrected for seasonal factors.