Danish businesses praise record immigration in first quarter of 2023

More people moved to Denmark in the first quarter of 2023 than in any previous three-month period.

Danish businesses praise record immigration in first quarter of 2023
Denmark set a new record for quarterly immigration at the start of 2023. Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

A record number of people immigrated to Denmark in the first three months of this year, according to Statistics Denmark figures reported by newspaper Berlingske.

Some 21,986 people moved to the country in the first quarter, while 11,506 left Denmark.

Businesses in Denmark have sought to attract foreign labour in recent times to fill vacancies.


The high figure for immigration was described as “super positive” by SMVdanmark, an interest organisation for small and medium sized companies.

“It makes it possible for businesses to take advantage of momentum in the economy, it pushes inflation down and it boosts public finances in times with hard demographic headwinds,” SMVdamark senior economist Thomas Gress told Berlingske.

Gress also said that Danish businesses are good at recruiting international labour and have had good experiences with it.

Successful relocations to Denmark for work purposes can offer an additional boost if immigrants report successful experiences back to their home countries, he added.

Over half of migrations to Denmark come from Western countries, according to Berlingske.

Countries defined as “Western”, along with the Balkans region and Ukraine, which are not included in that category, represent two thirds of the total number of immigrants for the quarter.

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Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

Denmark’s Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen has hinted that more professions than the four care sectors currently slated for wage increases could be given a payrise in upcoming negotiations.

Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

The government has stated it wants to give higher wages to public employees who work in the social care (SOSU in Danish), child care (pædagoger), nursing and prison officer sectors.

The so-called lønløft or payrise for these groups is a stated aim of the government in upcoming tripartite talks (termed trepartsforhandlinger in Danish) between the government, employers and trade unions.

Additional sectors could also be recipients of the 3 billion kroner the government wants to spend boosting wages, Wammen said on Wednesday.

“We want to make an extra effort [for the sectors explicitly named],” he said ahead of initial meetings ahead of the negotiations.

“But we are not saying with this that other groups can’t come in, but this is our starting point,” he said.

Labour market representatives of both employees and employers – in other words, trade unions and employer confederations – can both push for changes to the government proposal during the tripartite talks.

“We are now setting up for negotiations. We’ll know how the final model is going to look once we’ve reached an agreement,” Wammen said.

The proposal for higher wages in the four areas was announced by the government earlier this week, with one of its stated goals being to attract more staff to address shortages.

The proposed payrises could amount to 2,500 kroner per month for people working in the sectors, provided they meet with the government’s demands related to conditions such as working hours.