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Excerpted from the Denmark Career Guide

Employment Outlook

Denmark has a population of 5.6 million inhabitants, and the labor force is nearly 2.8 million. Nearly a third of this population works in the public sector, which includes education, public safety, housing, health care and defense.

Many industry sectors in Denmark, including retail and health care, are highly regulated and subject to many restrictions regarding licensing and competition that have traditionally blocked growth and technical expansion. A government taskforce has recently been formed to revisit the current regulations and look for ways to encourage growth. The website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science lists what occupations in Denmark are considered regulated, what the qualifications are to work in Denmark for each of these occupations and the proper Danish authorities to contact.

Areas of Job Promise

According to the European Commission, Denmark is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers in the fields of IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and manufacturing. Within its public sector, it is predicted there will soon be a shortage of doctors.

An aging workforce is expected to create a shortage of 33,000 skilled workers in the iron and metal, trade and office sectors by 2020, according to The Confederation of Danish Industry. With fewer young people entering vocational schools to learn skilled trades, the country will be looking outside of its borders for workers to fill the slots.

Salaries

In Denmark, there is no federal minimum wage; terms of employment and salaries are jointly set in collective agreements (overenskomster) by trade unions and employer associations. About 60 percent of Danish workers are members of a union.

Denmark’s private sector workers are among the highest paid in the EU. Annual net earnings fall way above the EU average. Danish wage growth has been moderate – recent figures show that wages rose by 1.1 percent year over year. However, the current low rate of inflation will mean real wage growth this year, according to Danske Bank.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Denmark Guide.



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