The number of non-Western immigrants on benefits finding work has more than doubled, according to new figures from the national statistics keeper, Danmarks Statistik.
In 2015, less than 1 percent of the non-Western immigrants on benefits who have been in Denmark for less than seven years found work every month. In 2016, the share of that same group of people, totally 25,000 individuals, had risen to over 2 percent.
“The potent rise has taken place following a number of reforms being launched, while other factors such as better trends and an increased focus on finding work for refugees may have contributed to the development,” explained Niels Ploug, the head of person statistics at Danmarks Statistik.
“The individuals who found work in 2016, on average, worked 18 hours per week, so it’s not necessarily a full-time job the people have found. We can also see that it’s particularly within restaurants, cleaning and employment agencies that they find work.”
Incentives to work
Some of the reforms established in a bid to make it more enticing to find work, compared to being on benefits, were lowering the integration benefit amount, the benefits ceiling (kontanthjælpsloftet), and the 225-hour rule – which means you must work at least 225 hours per year to obtain your benefits.
Danmarks Statistik’s analysis focuses on non-Western people on benefits who have been in Denmark for less than seven (out of the past eight) years, because they make up the vast majority of people on integration benefits.