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WORKING IN DENMARK

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
July saw an increase in unemployment in Denmark for the first time since the beginning of 2021. Photo: Mathias Eis/Ritzau Scanpix

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.

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EQUALITY

Danish study concludes women earn less than men for same jobs

A Danish study has concluded that women are often paid less than men for doing the same job.

Danish study concludes women earn less than men for same jobs

The study, from Copenhagen Business School, analysed the salaries of 1.2 million people in Denmark aged 30-55 years.

On average, women earn 7 percent less despite having the same profession and same job as their male colleagues, researchers concluded.

CBS professor Lasse Folke Henriksen, one of the report’s co-authors, said the results suggests that the overall disparity between the wages of men and women in Denmark is not solely a result of the pay grades in the professions in which they work.

“The equality debate has for some time focused on wage hierarchy in female-dominated and male-dominated professions,” he said.

“But this suggests there is also a wage gap between men and women with the same job function,” he said.

The study does not specify reasons for the wage gap. Henriksen said further research will address this, but existing research offers potential explanations.

“Family relations mean a lot. Women who have children put more work into home care and so on. That could help to explain it,” he said.

Denmark is not the only country looked at by the study.

The study uses data registered from 2015 and finds an overall wage gap for all countries of 18 percent, with women therefore earning considerably less than men on average.

Along with France, Denmark has the smallest wage gap (7 percent) of all countries analysed. Nordic neighbours Norway and Sweden are close behind with 9 and 8 percent respectively.

The largest wage gap found by the study was 26 percent in Japan.

“So Denmark is well placed,” Henriksen said.

“We also have analyses from further in the past so we can see that the wage gap has shrunk over the years. That’s very positive, and that has also happened in other countries,” he said.

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