Far more young people on benefits in Denmark

30 percent more Danes aged 16-29 are on benefits compared to 2007

New figures from the national statistics keeper Danmarks Statistik have revealed that far more Danes under the age of 30 are recipients of public benefits compared to just a few years ago.

Some 119,639 people aged 16-29 received benefits (SU not included) last year, which is about 30 percent higher than the 92,057 on benefits in 2007.

Meanwhile, the number of Danes of an employable age on benefits fell by about 6 percent to 739,535 during the same period.

Anders Bruun Jonassen, a researcher from the Rockwool Foundation, contended that part of the issue was down to demographic developments – over the last decade, the groups of people aged 16-24 and 24-29 have increased by 19 and 16 percent.

“Demographic changes explain some of it, but not all. There is also the aftermath of the financial crisis – the economic situation is still not as favourable as it was before the crisis,” Jonassen told the Ugebrevet A4 news outlet.

READ MORE: Thousands of Danes on unemployment benefits for a decade

Precarious position
Enhedslisten (EL) maintains that many young people have been victims of the transition in the labour market that took place in the wake of the crisis.

“The main problem is employers and companies that utilise the opportunity to hire them under conditions that can be deemed as precarious,” Finn Sørensen, EL’s spokesperson regarding employment issues, told Ugebrevet A4.

“It’s about breaking up the normal 37-hour week positions with much looser and short-term employment contracts.”

The government has indicated it will soon present a new proposal that aims to improve the education arena and better equip young people with the skills needed to gain a foothold in the labour market.