FFE Magazine

In Denmark, immigrants find stability through council Jobs

In Denmark, immigrants find stability through council Jobs

Number of council employee drops, but gap is being filled by immigrants.

 

The immigrant population in Denmark is filling in the local government sector which is losing employees by the thousands.

 

From 2009 to 2013, the 98 councils of Denmark have seen a drop of 35,000 in employee numbers. But a surprising counter-move has been in progress that same period as around 651 immigrants with a non-western background were hired to fill in the gap.

 

Today, around 5.5% of council employees or 27,118 are immigrants with a non-western background. More than 10,000 are social health workers while 5,000 are in cleaning.

 

Høje-Taastrup Council Mayor Michael Ziegler (K) said he was surprised by the numbers, adding ‘One could have feared that the crisis had affected the immigrants, but I think that the nation’s councils are trying to have their employee ratios reflect that of the national demographic.’

 

The public sector in general has seen a 6.6% drop in number of workers from 2009 to 2013. Labour market professor Flemming Ibsen of Aalborg University commented that the rise of immigrant employee numbers in that same period may be due to ‘conscious strategies by the job centres and councils to get immigrants – particularly women – into work.’

 

According to Statistics Denmark, the number of immigrants hit a record high last year at 56,276, outpacing the number of births.

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