From famine to feast

Industrial unemployment is falling so fast that a lack of workers could actually slow down the recovery

Industrial unemployment is at its lowest level for five years. The upswing has been so powerful that trade groups like Dansk Metal and Dansk Industri (DI) are warning there could soon be a shortage of skilled labour available to fill job openings. In just one year, the industrial employment rate has been cut in half nationwide, and in southern Denmark it has fallen by 68 percent.

“There are regions of Denmark where industrial companies are finding it more difficult to find qualified workers,” Allan Lyngsø Madsen, the chief economist at Dansk Metal, told Børsens newspaper.

Could harm competitiveness
DI’s labour market policy chief Steen Nielsen worried that there will soon be a lack of skilled metal workers

“It is a real concern, because we could miss out on growth due to a lack of manpower,” Nielsen told Børsens.

Nielsen said that a lack of skilled workers in the past led to excessive wage increases resulting in diminished competitiveness.

“We do not have the overall lack of manpower that we had in 2007 and 2008, but we can see it in certain areas,” said Nielsen.

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Danish Metal believes there is starting to be a lack of industrial engineers, toolmakers and metal workers and that companies may find it increasingly difficult to find the labour they need.