Danes leaving home to find jobs

Despite the ongoing narrative about immigrants coming into the country and taking jobs, nearly as many workers head in the opposite direction

As the debate about 'welfare tourism', 'social dumping' and the growing numbers of eastern Europeans taking Danish jobs continues to rage, numbers show that nearly as many Danes head out of the country to work elsewhere. According to Agenda, a newsletter published by national employers' association Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening (DA), while 109,000 foreigners are working inside Denmark, some 84,000 Danes are working outside the country.

While right-wing parties like Dansk Folkepari and Venstre continue to claim that immigrant workers are destroying the Danish job market, DA head Henrik Bach Mortensen said that travelling for work is a natural thing, and good for both the EU and Denmark.

“Our message is that a work force that travels from country to country inside of EU regulations is a clear win for Denmark, both in terms of taxes and public expenditures,” Mortensen told Politiken newspaper.

READ MORE: Immigrants are good for the economy, report says

Cross border workers a plus
Professor Peder Pedersen from Aarhus University agreed that not only are foreign workers a boon to Denmark, but Danes who travel outside the country for work also bring back experience and knowledge they may not have gained had they only worked inside Denmark’s borders.

“There is much talk about foreign workers taking jobs from Danes in Denmark, but not much is said about Danes taking jobs from workers in other countries,” Pedersen told Agenda.

READ MORE: Businesses demand better immigration rules

While foreign workers coming to Denmark often encounter anger and scepticism, Danish workers are generally welcomed with open arms around the world.

“The debate on welfare tourism often leaves out many of the good things that come from workers travelling from country to country,” Anne Marie Dalgaard, the head Of Danes Worldwide told Agenda. “The has been too much focus on a few bad examples and too little said about the many foreigners working and paying taxes in Denmark.”