Unskilled workers struggling to find jobs

Danes more likely than foreigners to turn down work that is lowly paid or too far to travel

Unemployed unskilled workers face the toughest job search, with very few able to find employment.

According to Jobnet, cleaning jobs are among the most sought-after – with only 70 vacancies attracting 7,961 applications.

Meanwhile, jobs for landscape gardeners and ironsmiths drew between 550 and 730 applicants for each advertised post.

Labour market tougher than ever
Although Jobnet is not the sole site for job postings in Denmark, the figures reveal a clear trend, according to social scientist Anders Bruun Jonassen from the National Centre for Social Research, SFI.

“It is difficult to enter the labour market if there are not enough jobs. There is a limit on what you can do to get a job, if there is not someone willing to hire you,” he told DR.

According to Jonassen, there are signs that employment may once again be starting to rise after the financial crisis. However, there is a still a long way out of the crisis for some groups of unemployed, he warns.

“It is the uneducated and those with few qualifications who drop out of the labour market first, and they also tend to be the ones who come in last again,” said Jonassen.

“Typically, they spend a much longer time in the unemployment line.”

Relocation could be the answer
The head of the Danish Employers’ Confederation, Erik Simonsen, believes many of theses issues could be solved if the unemployed were willing to relocate for jobs.

“Of course, there are areas where it is difficult to get a job,” he acknowledged to DR. “But it is also a question of what kind of expectations you have and where you live in relation to where the demand is.”

Danes do not want foreigners jobs
Simonsen emphasises there are almost 140,000 foreigners in the Danish labour market, and that figure is increasing.

According to Simonsen, this is because foreigners are willing to take work that the Danish unemployed will not accept.

“You might be keen to take a job, but when you find out that you do not get more than a few kroner an hour in pay, it suddenly becomes much less attractive,” said Simonsen.

Difficult to predict the future labour market
Bent Greve, a professor and social scientist at RU, does not believe that the crisis is about to ease.

“We see some trends in the labour market, which means there will be fewer and fewer unskilled jobs – both in the coming years and in the long run,” Greve told DR.

He speaks of a new upswing that may risk bypassing those who have no skills.

“It is no surprise that in future years, the labour market will increasingly demand skills and qualifications.”


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