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Employment in Denmark - statistics & facts

Flexibility, security, flat hierarchical structures, and a team-oriented approach are some of the keywords that characterize the Danish labor market. Broadly speaking, the so-called Danish model or flexicurity model combines high mobility between jobs with social security and active labor market policies. This entails that employers can easily hire and fire, but employees have a safety net between jobs. For instance, some employees in Denmark have a notice period of only five to six days. In addition to this, the model ensures that employment and salary matters are regulated through collective agreements. Central welfare topics such as the right to maternity leave, pension, and compensation in case of dismissals are some of the topics which are handled through such agreements.

Denmark's employment rate has increased over recent years and i 2021, the country had one of the highest employment rates in Europe. In a similar fashion, the number of employed people in Denmark increased over the past decade and was expected to reach more than 2.9 million during 2022. However, there are differences between the genders, and young people have lower employment rates than middle-aged people. Looking back at the past 10 years, the number of unemployed people declined significantly except for 2020, when COVID-19 hit the economy.

Salaries and work-life balance

As in the other Nordic countries, work-life balance plays a significant role in the Danish society. Hence, a work week of 37 hours is the most common for Danish employees. Although the average weekly working hours come close to 37 hours, there are some notable exceptions. Men generally work longer hours than women, and employees in the private sector also work more. Differences based on gender and sector also become clear considering salaries, and the gender pay gap is still a topic in Denmark. In 2020, men earned a higher salary than women – both in the public and private sector. This was even the case for private sector employees with an academic background, where men earned 4.1 percent more than women.

The impact of COVID-19

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), however, employment figures dropped significantly during spring 2020 and onwards. While over 2.8 million people were employed in February 2020, the number reached the lowest point in May 2020, before increasing again slightly in June 2020. Since February 2021, the number of employees in Denmark has increased continuously. A natural consequence of a decreasing number of employees is a growing unemployment rate. In the first quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate stood at nearly five percent, which was considerably higher than usual. However, it had dropped to 2.6 percent by March 2022. As a consequence of the increasing unemployment rate due to the pandemic, the number of recipients of unemployment benefits in the country increased by 30,000 in 2020.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 40 most important statistics relating to "Employment in Denmark".


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