Danish employment up for 17th consecutive month

Employment in Denmark is still increasing despite inflation and high prices, as businesses struggle to meet their labour needs.

Danish employment up for 17th consecutive month
Illustration photo of a Danish factory. Employment has consistently risen in the Nordic country since early 2021. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

New data from national agency Statistics Denmark shows that 7,000 more people were employed in the country in June compared to May. That corresponds to a 2 percent increase in the employment figure.

The number of people in employment has now increased for 17 months in a row, going back to the beginning of 2021.

Since January of last year, 199,000 new jobs have been created with the total in employment now at 2,693,000.

“These are strong numbers which don’t reflect the increasing pessimism other metrics show in the business sector,” Danske Bank senior economist Las Olsen told news wire Ritzau in a written comment on the latest figures.

“Although it might be less busy in some places, there is clearly still a need for people to be able to keep up with demand,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Employment is expected to peak despite the consistent increase seen going back two winters.

Factors such as inflation, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine are expected to limit employment, although a sharp downturn is not necessarily expected.

“We expect a relatively mild saturation in the Danish economy. That is because competitiveness is strong and households are well supplied,” Erik Bjørsted, senior economist with Dansk Metal, told Ritzau.

“In addition, Danish companies are amongst the most energy-efficient in the world, and that is a big advantage in the current situation with scarce and expensive energy resources,” he said.

The growth in the number of jobs occurred only in the private sector. The number of people working in public administration and services in largely unchanged, Ritzau writes.

Around 2.1 million people worked in Denmark’s private sector as of June, with 870,000 public sector employees.

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Age charity wants Danish schools opened abroad to solve worker shortage

Age concern charity DanAge (Ældre Sagen) says Danish social care education programmes should be opened in foreign countries to address the chronic labour shortage suffered by the sector.

Age charity wants Danish schools opened abroad to solve worker shortage

Danish welfare courses that take place abroad are a potential solution to a serious lack of staff in elderly care, the CEO of DanAge, Bjarne Hastrup, told newspaper Berlingske.

Germany, Spain, India and the Phillippines are potential locations for the schools, according to the charity.

“And my question to politicians would be: ‘If you’re not going to do this, what are you going to do?’,” Hastrup told Berlingske.

In addition to giving students social care qualifications, the schools would also teach them the Danish language and culture, Hastrup suggests.

Nurses from India and the Phillippines should also be allowed to travel to Denmark and work in elderly care while waiting for the nursing qualifications to be authorised by Danish authorities, DanAge proposes.

READ ALSO: Why does Denmark take so long to authorise foreign medical professionals?

If the foreign nurses are denied authorisation, they should then be offered an alternative nursing qualification, which they would be able to study for in Denmark while continuing to work in elderly care, the charity said.

The proposal comes as DanAge on Thursday hosted a debate with Danish political party leaders at which it hoped to push for more political action on the sector’s labour shortage.

DanAge also wants au pairs – who can be granted temporary work and residence permits in Denmark under special au pair rules – to be offered a new work permit on expiry of their au pair contracts so that they can opt to stay in Denmark and work in the elderly sector.

Hastrup told Berlingske that the idea of training future staff in schools based abroad could be transferred to other areas of the health service which are also experiencing labour shortages.

It is unclear at the current time whether the charity’s proposals will garner political backing or momentum.

Danish work permit rules for non-EU nationals are restrictive, with one of the most popular pathways, the Pay Limit Scheme, requiring employers to pay a minimum wage high enough to prevent hires in many social care roles.

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