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ECONOMY

Unemployment numbers in Denmark continue to rise

The number of people without work in Denmark increased in December, the second consecutive month unemployment has gone up, an early indicator from Statistics Denmark shows.

Unemployment numbers in Denmark continue to rise
If you lose your job in Italy, the good news is that your work permit does not immediately become invalid. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

After November’s increase, the national data agency’s early indicator suggests an increase by 2,600 for the unemployment figure in December.

Additionally, the agency has revised upwards the total it calculated for November from 1,800 to 3,100 additional people out of work.

Official figures showed that total unemployment in Denmark in November was 77,000.

The Statistics Denmark indicator is distinct from the official figure because it is derived from a smaller data set which is available earlier.

December’s indicator may be more uncertain than usual due to possible changes in the amount of holiday taken as a result of new holiday rules, news wire Ritzau writes.

However, the figure is cause for economic concern should the indicator prove to be accurate, according to senior economist Tore Stramer of the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

“Today’s job seeker figure is a real downer and shows that the inflation crisis has elicited a quite clear increase in unemployment towards the end of 2022,” he said.

“We unfortunately expect there to be a longer-term reversal in unemployment that will stretch into both 2023 and 2024,” he said.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce has predicted a total increase in unemployment of 35,000 this year.

Figures from national site Jobnet show that there were 20 percent fewer jobs advertised in December compared to a year ago.

“That tells you something about a labour market that certainly does not show the same strengths at the end of 2022 that it did at the start of 2022,” economist Jeppe Juul Borre of Arbejdernes Landsbank told Ritzau.

“Unemployment is still close to the lowest since 2008. In a historical context, a lot of jobs are still being advertised. Just not as many as a year ago,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ten ways to improve your chances of finding a job in Denmark

Member comments

  1. The only way to lower inflation is to increase unemployment and lower demand for goods and services. Well, you can try price controls but that is very difficult toget correctly done.

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BUSINESS

Danish shipping giant Maersk ‘lobbied’ to be excluded from global tax deal

The Danish shipping giant Maersk held meetings with Denmark's tax and maritime authorities to advise them on how best to shield the shipping industry from the OECD's global minimum tax deal, according to a Danish media report.

Danish shipping giant Maersk 'lobbied' to be excluded from global tax deal

The revelations, reported by broadcaster DR, come as the company on Wednesday reported record profits of 203 billion kroner, on which it paid just 3 percent in tax. 

They are particularly damaging to the company because of the claim last year from Maersk’s then CEO Søren Skou that his company was open to paying more tax, so long as it was through a global agreement via the OECD, precisely the sort of agreement the company was behind the scenes trying to exclude itself from. 

“It seems as if Maersk is playing a double game,” Lars Koch from the poverty charity Oxfam, told DR after he was presented with the evidence. 

“We can see from the access to documents the number of meetings and close and confidential dialogue”, he added. “Here they agree and inform each other about what Denmark should argue in these international negotiations on a tax agreement and they work actively to safeguard Maersk’s interests by exempting the shipping companies.” 

The broadcaster report was based on internal documents obtained from the Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Maritime Authority. 

The documents show that in June 2020, representatives of the company held a meeting with the Ministry of Taxation in which they they discussed strategies on excluding shipping from the OECD agreement on minimum tax. 

Soon afterwards, the industry lobby group Danish Shipping (Danske Rederier), where Maersk plays a leading role, wrote to the Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Maritime Authority warning that the OECD proposal “creates considerable uncertainty in our hinterland”.

Then in June 2021, a representative from ​the Danish Maritime Authority thanked Danish Shipping for supplying it with arguments it could use to push for shipping to be excluded, saying, “it was extremely well done. A thousand thanks for your efforts.”

Finally, when shipping was exempted from the OECD agreement in July 2021, a representative from Danish Shipping thanked the Danish Maritime Authority for “the orientation and for being aware of the special challenges of shipping”. 

Mette Mellemgaard Jakobsen, Maersk’s head of tax, admitted that her company had tried to influence the process.

“We were specifically concerned about how these rules would be implemented, and we had a concrete concern that it would create an increased distortion of competition,” she told DR. 

“For us, it is absolutely crucial that we are not put at a disadvantage compared to other shipping companies around the world. That is why global agreements are the most important thing for us.”

Rasmus Corlin Christensen, a researcher in international tax at Copenhagen Business School, said that Maersk’s double game was quite “striking”.

“On the one hand, you support and work for global solutions, the shipping industry included. But at the same time you can see that, at least when it comes to the global reforms that have been discussed in recent years, they did not want the shipping industry to be covered.” 

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