The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI) found that over half of 8,000 companies in Denmark taking part in an annual survey said that a labour shortage was their biggest challenge.
In the survey, big and small companies alike responded to questions related to problems faced by businesses.
DI conducts the survey annually but labour shortages have not previously been cited as the most concerning problem for firms.
“For companies there is quite simply no more important agenda at the moment,” DI political director Emil Fannikke Kiær said in comments to news wire Ritzau.
“And it is crucial for all of the Danish economy that companies don’t miss out on growth and export because they don’t have enough staff,” he said.
Denmark’s labour shortage has repeatedly been highlighted by the business sector and discussed by politicians.
- Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage
- Lack of staff ‘biggest challenge’ for Danish health authorities
In June, a majority in parliament agreed to reduce the beløbsgrænse or Pay Limit for foreign workers, meaning the minimum wage to be granted a work and residence permit under the Pay Limit scheme was lowered.
The Pay Limit is one of several pathways by which non-EU nationals can apply for work visas in Denmark. All involve stringent criteria.
Kiær said the Pay Limit reform did not go far enough to alleviate the labour shortage.
“In the wider perspective, too little has been done for years. During the last two government administrations no honest reform was implemented which would have increased the labour supply. That won’t do [if it continues] in a third successive government,” he said.