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EMPLOYMENT

More foreign nationals work in Denmark than ever before

Danish companies are hiring more and more internationals.

More foreign nationals work in Denmark than ever before
Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Figures from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering, STAR) show that a total of 222,500 people with foreign citizenships were employed in Denmark during the first half of 2019, financial newspaper Børsen reports.

That means the number of internationals working in Denmark is at its highest level since 2011, when records began.

The increase reflects ongoing demand for hands on the Danish labour market, according to professor Laust Høgedahl from Aalborg University’s Centre for Labour Market Research.

It is also evidence that being able to hire foreign workers is vital for the growth of Danish companies, the professor said.

“These figures show that Danish business and Danish economy is deeply dependent on foreign labour,” Høgedahl told Børsen.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard told the newspaper that the figures were not a solely positive sign, however, describing the trend as a “double-edged sword”.

“I think, fundamentally, that foreign labour, particularly that of EU citizens, is very welcome in Denmark. What is most important is that this occurs under Danish employment and wage standards,” the minister said.

“It is incredibly important that we don’t forget the many jobseekers that are still in Denmark and that we make use of the huge opportunity there is today, whereby labour is still in high demand, to provide jobseekers with qualifications and give them the opportunity to enter the labour market,” he said.

Since the first six months of 2011, the total number of foreign citizens working in Denmark has increased by 93,700.

According to Statistics Denmark, 104,300 people are unemployed in the country as of June 2019.

READ ALSO: Denmark creates 208,000 new jobs in five years and companies are still in need of employees

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JOBS

Labour shortage hits half of Danish companies in construction sector

A record-high shortage of labour at some Danish companies is exacerbated in some places by a lack of materials, according to new data.

A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour.
A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The construction industry reports a lack of labour at around half of all companies, according to a survey by Statistics Denmark, based on responses from businesses.

In the service industry, which includes restaurants, hotels and cleaning, one in three companies reported a lack of workforce.

Some industries, notable machinery related businesses, also said they are short of materials currently.

The lack of labour is holding the Danish economy back, according to an analyst.

“Never before have we seen such a comprehensive lack of labour in the Danish economy,” senior economist Søren Kristensen of Sydbank said.

“It’s a shame and it’s a genuine problem for a significant number of the businesses which at the moment are losing revenue as a consequence of the lack of labour,” Kristensen continued.

“That is costly, including for all of Denmark’s economic growth. Even though we on one side can be pleased that it’s going well for the Danish economy, we can also regret that it could have been even better,” the economist said in a comment to news wire Ritzau.

Despite the lack of labour, businesses have their most positive outlook for years, according to Statistics Denmark.

The data agency based its conclusions on a large volume of responses from companies related to revenues, orders and expectations for the future.

The numbers are processed into a measure termer business confidence or erhvervstillid in Danish. The October score for the metric is 118.7, the highest since 2010, although there are differences between sectors.

READ ALSO: Are international workers the answer to Denmark’s labour shortage?

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