in 2017


Key drivers

Labour market participation (3.9)

Labour market participation is expected to grow strongly this year, reducing pressure on firms seeking to expand their workforce.

Wage pressure in high-skill industries (8.8)

Wages have grown faster in high-skill sectors, particularly professional activities and finance, than lower-skill ones, putting greater pressure on firms in these industries.

Education flexibility (5.8)

Improving educational standards mean that employers in Denmark should have access to a larger pool of talent.

Education flexibility


Labour market participation


Labour market flexibility


Talent mismatch


Overall wage pressure


Wage pressure in high-skill industries


Wage pressure in high-skill occupation


Morten Andersen

Business Director, Hays Denmark

View from the Ground

The Danish labour market is characterised by low unemployment. However, while unemployment continues to decrease, companies are still experiencing a difficult time attracting and retaining the right talent; this points towards a high degree of talent mismatch. Increasing overall wage pressure also indicates that employers are experiencing labour shortages. Thus, there is an increasing need to attract international labour. The continued digitalisation of the workforce additionally invites employers to look across national borders in the search for the right talent. Newly qualified jobseekers are experiencing a higher rate of unemployment than other groups; therefore it could be beneficial for organisations to realise the value in this group of potential employees.

Morten Andersen, Business Director, Hays Denmark

COUNTRY profile

GDP rose by 2.2% in 2017. It is forecast to grow at slightly less than 2% in the next few years, driven by consumption and investment spending.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of people employed fell by 0.5% in 2017. Unemployment according to the ILO definition also increased by 8%. The most rapid rises in unemployment in 2017 were concentrated among the younger age groups, with a 12% rise in those aged under 25 years old.

Some confirmation of the relatively bleak picture in 2017 comes from the Purchasing Managers Index Survey question on employment. This predicted a contraction in employment in 2017, the first year it had done so since 2010. The results for the first half of 2018 are more positive, pointing to an expansion in employment in 2018.

Key skills in demand

  • Software Developers
  • Marketing Specialists –Digital/Communications
  • Financial Business Partners
  • Regulatory Affairs Managers/Quality Assurance Managers
  • Medical Advisors