Danish private sector industries say they are still desperate for staff, highlighting that labour shortages continue to impact both the private and public sectors.
Shortages in the health and social care sectors have been highlighted during the ongoing election campaign.
The private sector – through the voice of the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI) – told broadcaster DR on Friday that it wants whoever wins the November 1st election to pledge measures aimed at attracting 50,000 additional pairs of hands for private companies.
The last six months has seen Danish companies fail to fill advertised job vacancies 13,000 times, according to DR.
A lack of staff is resulting in businesses turning down orders and thereby missing out on revenue.
By setting out policy to address the situation at the beginning of its term, a new government could achieve much to tackle the problem over a four-year period, DI says.
“This problem is not going away. Even in a time with war in Europe, an energy crisis and bulging inflation, we still need labour for businesses,” DI’s director Lars Sandahl said to DR.
Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard recognised the issue without making any specific promises.
“We are very prepared for it to be a Social Democratic-led government’s project to work for an provide continued increased employment in Denmark, fewer unemployed, and overall that we acquire the qualified labour that many industries need,” he said.
An additional 10,000 people were hired in Denmark in August, following a drop in the employment number in July which went against the general trend of high employment and shortage of labour.
There were 10,300 more people working in August than in July, with July’s number 5,000 lower than June, according to Statistics Denmark.
The July drop-off followed 17 consecutive months of rising employment.
This summer saw Denmark approve, after protracted negotiations, a reform to its Pay Limit Scheme, a criteria system used to grant work permits to non-EU nationals.
The agreement means that Danish companies can now hire skilled foreign staff on contracts paying an annual salary of 375,000 kroner, and that the foreign employees can be granted work and residence permits on that basis. The new pay limit is a 16 percent decrease from the previous 448,000 kroner. As such, skilled foreign labour can be recruited at a lower cost to companies.
While business organisations welcomed the deal at the time (and trade unions criticised it for potentially impacting Danish wages), they later said it did not go far enough to alleviate the country’s labour shortage.