Go north, young Dane

A tough job market at home has Danes heading out of the country to find work

The number of Danes working in Norway increased by 20 percent from 2008 until 2012. According to Norges Statistisk Centralbyrå, the Norwegian national statistics bank, the number of Danes working in Norway rose from 13,600 to 16,400 over the period.

Researchers said that a combination of a tight job market at home and Norway’s red-hot economy accounted for the rise.

“With unemployment being so high in Denmark, it is fine that Danes look for work elsewhere,” Henning Jørgensen, a social researcher at Aalborg University, told Information newspaper. “Otherwise they risk falling out of the system and losing unemployment benefits.”

Although the demand for labour in Norway has decreased slightly since last year, figures from the Norwegian government employment office NAV still show 32,200 vacant jobs.

Unemployment in the Danish workforce has been steadily declining the last few years, but it is still significantly higher than it was in 2008.

Inter-country commuting
Jacob Løbner Pedersen, the project head of Job & Uddannelse i Øresundsregionen, a work and education initiative by the City Council, said he is well aware of the trend.

“Many Danes are heading to Norway and working for two or three weeks, coming home for a week, and then going back again,” Pedersen told Information.

The number of commuters who live in Denmark and work in Norway nearly doubled between 2008 and 2012 from 3,000 commuters to 5,500.

Swedes are also heading to Norway to look for work, but unlike their Danish counterparts who commute, Swedes are pulling up roots and settling in Norway.