100,000 unemployed workers ready for a job in Denmark - or what?
100,000 unemployed workers - ready to be hired. That means Denmark doesn’t need foreign workers or labour reforms - or do we? We’ve asked DI’s Head of Labour Market Policy Steen Nielsen for an explanation.
The figure 100,000 isn’t as such incorrect.
In August, there were 105,000 unemployed workers in Denmark, according to Statistics Denmark.
The thing is, they aren’t unemployed for very long. And they’re not waiting around.
“There is no unemployment queue - understood as a static group or constant reserve of labour - that employers can simply tap into,” says Head of Labour Market Policy, Deputy Director Steen Nielsen, DI.
The group of unemployed workers is constantly changing.
“Every third person receiving unemployment benefits finds a new job within the first month. 7 out of 10 have new colleagues within six months. And after six months, half of employable individuals receiving unemployment benefits are also working,” says Steen Nielsen.
Half as few unemployed 3F members
A look at the statistics also reveals that 100,000 unemployed workers in 2019 is a small number relative to the past 30 years.
Unemployment peaked in 1994 with over 360,000 unemployed workers. And unemployment has only been lower than it is now just before the financial crisis began in earnest.
“100,000 unemployed workers is really not that many. There will always be people who are unemployed in a dynamic labour market where people change jobs. It’s wrong to use the number as an argument against hiring from abroad or reforming the labour market,” he says.
The decline in unemployment over the past 10 years has benefitted unskilled workers in particular.
“The number of unemployed members of the United Federation of Workers (3F) has more than halved since 2009, while the number of unemployed academics has doubled,” says DI’s head of labour market policy.
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