Swedish border controls could hurt Danish economy

Longer commuting time across the Øresund could exacerbate labour shortages

The new border controls just introduced by Sweden are a threat to economic growth in Denmark according to the employers’ organisation Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening (DA) and Dansk Erhverv, the confederation of Danish enterprise, Børsen reports. 

READ MORE: New rules for travel into Sweden take effect

Labour shortages could get worse
Last week the Danish-Swedish think-tank Øresundsinstituttet announced that the new ID checks could increase journey times for commuters across the Øresund by as much as 50 minutes, and Pernille Knudsen, an executive director at DA, sees this as a serious problem for Denmark’s economy.

“The Swedish border control is a potential growth killer for the Danish economy,” she said.

“We can already ascertain today that labour shortages are a problem, and if Swedes don’t want to work in Denmark because of longer transport times, then the problem will get even bigger, and that is a serious situation for the Danish economy.”

According to figures from DA, 7,754 Swedes without residence in Denmark were employed in the country during the third quarter of 2015. In addition, there are 6,500 Danish citizens resident in Sweden.

Niels Milling, the deputy chief executive at Dansk Erhverv, highlighted that Øresund commuters constitute a large group of qualified workers in Copenhagen and the rest of the capital region.

“That goes for shops, hotels, restaurants and the large knowledge companies in general, where Swedes are also an important labour force,” he said.

“More and more companies point to the fact that they are finding it hard to find qualified labour, and if we come to a situation where Swedes start dropping Denmark, then companies will be even more challenged. If the labour shortage gets even worse, then it will hit our competitiveness and we run the risk that the good development that the Danish economy is in will be challenged.”