Employment rates in Denmark on the rise

If the trend continues, there could soon be a record number of people in jobs

There was good news on the employment front at the end of last year. Figures from the national statistics keeper Danmarks Statistik reveal that 2,000 more people had jobs in December last year than in the previous month.

Even better, at the end of December, 2,721,000 people in Denmark were working in paid employment – and that is only 1,100 below the highest level ever, reports DR Nyheder.

The current record was set in March 2008.

From glut to shortage
But employers are becoming increasingly worried whether they will be able to get the labour they need.

“Danish firms have rarely needed as many extra hands as they do now, so it produces almost historic opportunities for people to find work,” said Jens Troldborg from the Danish employers association Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening in a press release.

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“We must redouble our efforts to make sure that more Danes who are unemployed grasp this opportunity. If the curve is to continue to rise, we also need to do more to attract foreign workers,” added Troldborg.

The confederation of Danish industry, Dansk Industri (DI), concurs.

A buoyant message
However, the trade union think-tank Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd (AE) is not convinced.

It points out that there are still a lot of unemployed people, as well as those who are employed and would like to work more hours, and that Danish workers have only received moderate wage increases in recent years.

This means some of the most important parameters pointing to a shortage of labour just aren’t there, contends Erik Bjørsted, the chief economist at AE.

“If there really so much competition for labour, we would see wages taking off and be able to absorb that without the risk of the economy overheating,” said Bjørsted.

A number of economists predict that a new all-time employment record will be set when the January figures come out.