While overall council employee numbers fell by 35,000 between 2009 and 2013, the number of immigrants working for the nation’s councils has risen by ten percent in recent years, the local government organisation, KL, has revealed.
Over the past five years, 651 immigrants with a non-western background have been hired by Denmark’s 98 councils, according to figures compiled by KL’s newsletter, Momentum.
“I am positively surprised by the development," Michael Ziegler (K), the mayor of Høje-Taastrup Council, told Politiken newspaper.
"One could have feared that the crisis had affected the immigrants, but I think that the nation’s councils are trying to have their employee ratios reflect that of the national demographic."
Not a coincidence
In 2013, 27,118 immigrants with a non-western background worked in councils nationwide. More than 10,000 worked as social and health workers, while nearly 5,000 worked in cleaning.
Between 2009 and 2013, the number of public workers fell from 524,834 to 489,936, a 6.6 percent reduction, and according to Flemming Ibsen, a professor and expert in the labour market at Aalborg University, it’s no coincidence that immigrant employee numbers rose during that same period.
“It’s probably down to conscious strategies by the job centres and councils to get immigrants – particularly women – into work,” Ibsen told Politiken.
Some 5.5 percent of the total number of council employees are immigrants with a non-Western background, while that number was at 5.1 percent in the rest of the labour market.