q Record number of millionaires, despite economic crisis - The Copenhagen Post

Record number of millionaires, despite economic crisis

Rebounding stock market and improved corporate performance stoking wage gains for the richest

Danes may be some of the happiest in the world but more of them are also getting richer as well, as 2011 saw the number of people earning one million kroner or more reach its highest level ever.

According to newly-released figures from Danmarks Statistik, 59,972 Danes were earning over a million kroner at the end of 2011, a 15 percent increase from 2008. But Jørgen Stamhus of Aalborg University said that the increase only reflects gains made by management.

“We need to be aware that salaries earned by managers were less affected by the crisis than the average employee’s salary was,” Stamhus told Fagbladet 3F.

The increasing number of rich Danes comes despite a December 2012 report by trade union publication Fagbladet 3F indicating that inflation (2.9 percent) in 2011 outstripped average wage increases (1.4 percent).

One reason behind the increase in the number of millionaires is that stock prices have recovered after taking a significant drop in 2009.

Stamhus also argued that the growth in wealth was due to an increase in executive salaries as their companies begin to perform better.

And while those executives may be happy earning more money, Lars Olsen, who is the author of a book entitled ‘Det Danske Klassesamfund’, which looks at the Danish class system, warned that such developments are dangerous for society as a whole.

“There is a serious threat to society’s sense of justice,” Olsen told Fagbladet 3F. “How can executives expect the average worker to accept only modest salary increases, when they themselves are earning more?”