Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month

The number of displaced persons from Ukraine who have jobs in Denmark increased three-fold between April and May this year.

People march in support of Ukraine in Copenhagen
People march in support of Ukraine in Copenhagen in April. The number of Ukrainians working in Denmark has risen sharply. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Preliminary figures from May show 1,055 Ukrainians hired on the labour market in Denmark compared to 320 in April, the Employment Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The figures encompass people from Ukraine who fled from the country after the invasion by Russia on February 24th this year.

The ministry said it expects the total to further increase because companies can register tax on staff earnings in May until the deadline of June 10th.

“One in seven (Ukrainian refugees) have found a job since the war broke out and that’s very good going,”” employment minister Peter Hummelgaard said.

“We want them to work, and they fortunately have a large appetite for it,” he added.

The minister also said that many Ukrainians are still awaiting work permits and that others are waiting to be allocated housing or childcare.

Latest figures from the Danish Immigration service (Udlændingestyrelsen) show that around 30,000 Ukrainians have been granted residency in Denmark under a special law passed earlier this year.

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Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Local authorities and a major business interest organisation have urged Denmark’s government to address a labour shortage.

Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Unmet demand for labour in both private businesses and the public sector has reached a crisis point, according to an appeal to the government to reach a broader labour agreement. 

Parliament must renew its efforts to find a new national compromise which will secure more labour, the National Association of Municipalities (Kommunernes Landsforening, KL) and the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI) said according to financial media Finans.

“The parties [in parliament] must be honest with voters and start a completely different and strict prioritisation of what the public sector can offer people,” mayor and KL chairperson Martin Damm told news wire Ritzau.

“Otherwise, the parties must find the labour needed for private companies to provide growth and wellbeing, and for us at municipalities to have the staff and economy to deliver the services people expect,” he said.

The municipalities will need 44,000 additional employees by 2030 due to increasing numbers of children and elderly in the population, according to KL.

Short the lack of labour persist, municipal governments could be forced to reduce the priority of services such as cleaning for elderly residents, according to Damm.

Danish businesses are finding it harder than ever to recruit staff and could hire 38,000 new workers immediately if they were available, according to DI, which represents the interests of about 19,000 Danish companies. 

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, managing director of DI, firmly believes the answer to the labour shortage lies outside Danish borders. 

“We will need many more foreigners,” Sørensen told Finans.

“It is not about getting cheap labour, but about getting people at all. We are in a situation where we do not have employees to carry out the things on green conversion that we have already decided to do, and that we would like to do on health and welfare,” he said.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard told Finans that the government agreed a deal on international recruitment shortly before the summer break.

READ MORE: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you aren’t an EU national?