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Why does the Danish employment rate keep rising?

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Why does the Danish employment rate keep rising?
Denmark's employment rate keeps rising but the trend could be on borrowed time. Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Denmark’s total number of people in employment keeps rising month-on-month, defying expectations based on the economic climate. Why is this and is the trend sustainable?

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Despite economic uncertainty related to inflation and rising interest rates, Denmark’s total employment figure rose again in May, Statistics Denmark said on Friday.

The latest total of people in jobs in Denmark is 2,992,800 according to the national statistics agency.

“Apart from a little fall in July 2022, wage earner employment has increased 28 months in a row,” it stated.

The figure for May is an increase of 5,800 or around 0.2 percent compared to April.

The general trend is a “crazy upturn” according to senior economist Jeppe Juul Borre of Arbejdernes Landsbank.

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“It means that we are taking hasty steps towards three million wage earners in Denmark,” he said in a written comment.

“Impressive in a time with the highest inflation for 40 years, weakened spending power for consumers and greater economic uncertainty than normal,” he said.

But there are suggestions that the trend, despite its long term consistency, may not be able to continue much longer.

A high number of vacancies has long been a feature of the Danish labour market linked to rising employment figures, but this may now have peaked.

The number of job vacancies advertised in June was the lowest for two years, according to data from Jobindex. Some 26,627 new positions were advertised last month, 3,500 fewer than in May.

READ ALSO: Is the persistent rise in unemployment bad news for Denmark?

That is “a sign the labour market is going down a gear as demand from employers declines”, according to senior economist with the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Kristian Skriver.

“Later in 2023, we expect employment to fall slightly because of high interest as well as growth slowdown in Danish export markets,” he said.

In earlier comments related to the job vacancies trend, Borre sounded a more positive note however.

“We are coming from a place where there was a record number of job vacancies and a huge amount of activity on the labour market,” he said.

Both the private and public sectors saw an increase in their numbers of workers in May.

In the category “public administration, defence and police”, the number rose sharply with 1,200 new hires, corresponding to 0.8 percent.

There are now 190,600 more wage earners in Denmark than immediately before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Statistics Denmark said.

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