News in Digest: Prosperous and employed, but sorely lacking labour

Opposition to government’s plans to ease work permits a blow to plans to increase workforce

Prosperity levels in Denmark are at a record high, according to the Business Ministry.

The country’s Gross National Income (GNI) per citizen has risen by 0.5 percent every year over the past decade. In 2017, it stood at 55,220 dollars, placing it eighth in the world.

Only Switzerland, Norway, Luxemboug, Qatar, Iceland, the US and Ireland had a higher rate, with Sweden back in 10th and Finland in 14th place.

Encouraging business
“Denmark must continue to be competitive and easy to run a company in,” said Rasmus Jarlov, the business minister.

“It’s the companies that create growth and prosperity for us all, so the government will continue to ease the business sector of administrative burdens.”

The ministry’s report underlines the need to continue focusing on digitalisation and new technology – not only in Denmark, but also in the international markets, where growth potential is estimated to be particularly strong.

Opposition to plans
According to Danmarks Statistik, the employment rate rose by 6,500 to 2,760,000 in August, with private firms creating 5,300 jobs – the 65th consecutive month of increases.

Some companies are struggling to finding labour – a situation that has not been helped by the news that Socialdemokratiet, Dansk Folkeparti and Socialistisk Folkeparti intend to oppose government plans to ease work permits from 12 countries.

None of the three parties want to be part of lowering the minimum wage required to acquire a Danish work permit from 418,000 to 330,000 kroner a year for citizens coming from China, India, the US, Russia, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia.

Bucking the trend
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate amongst young people is rising, with 7.7 percent of 25 to 29-year-olds out of work, according to an analysis of Danmarks Statistik data by Ledernes Hovedorganisation (LH), the trade union for business leaders.

For the population as a whole, the figure is just 3.9 percent, and LH contends that young people need to pick their education more wisely.

“Neither the young people or employers are well served by a course that can’t be used immediately when a person is finished,” said the union’s head analyst Kim Møller Laursen.

“So all educational courses ought to be fine-tuned to a much higher degree to suit the needs of the labour market.”

Slip in consumer confidence
In related news, national consumer confidence fell by 18 percent in September, according to a monthly survey conducted by Danmarks Statistik.

Experts believe the drop has been partly caused by the ongoing money-laundering scandals of both Danske Bank and Nordea, along with the recent seizure of the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.




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