Over the past five years, the number of young people between the ages of 16 and 29 receiving the kontanthjælp unemployment benefit has shot up by 79 percent, according to figures from Danmarks Statistik.
In the third quarter of 2013, there were 29,416 people aged 16 to 29 on kontanthjælp, compared to just 16,381 five years earlier in 2008.
Per Kongshøj Madsen, a labour market researcher from Aalborg University, contended that the development was very worrying and could easily lead to a difficult start in adulthood.
“It’s a symptom of young people having a more difficult time with unemployment than most people during the crisis,” Madsen told metroXpress newspaper. “There is a lot of research that shows that a bad introduction to the labour market can have long-reaching consequences down the road.”
Government pin hopes on reform
Madsen went on to explain that young people who have been on unemployment benefits often end up working for lower wages and are at a higher risk of once again become unemployed.
The government is aware of the situation and as part of its unemployment reform last year, it established a youth initiative that will urge more young people to educate themselves.
“This development [young people on kontanthjælp] does nothing to benefit young people or society,” Leif Lahn Jensen, the spokesperson for labour market matters for Socialdemokraterne, told metroXpress.