Danish Companies Seek to Hire, but Everyone’s Already WorkingDo you hear that? The boss offered a pay raise of more than 2 percent. Not just 2 percent, but More Than 2 Percent.
By LIZ ALDERMAN FEB. 28, 2017
COPENHAGEN — When Peter Enevoldsen won a lucrative order for the precision tractor parts that his company, Sjorring Maskinfabrik, makes in northern Denmark, his eyes lit up. The contract was worth more than half a million euros — a boon for his profits.
As Europe rebounds from its economic malaise, Denmark is one of a few countries that can boast of nearing a golden era of full employment, meaning almost everyone who is able and willing to work has a job. But instead of being cheered, it is posing new challenges to the country’s recovery. …
The government has helped ease the strain by linking the retirement age to life expectancy, allowing seniors to work longer, and encouraging more employment of European Union nationals, who do not need employment visas to work in Denmark.
Some employers have also looked to refugees to fill jobs, but few of the newcomers are readily employable in high-skilled work, and the government tightened policies recently to discourage more asylum seekers from coming in.
At Sjorring, Mr. Enevoldsen tried for more than a year to add skilled welders and industrial designers to the 275-person work force. The company, which has won business from Volvo and Caterpillar, has a 20-acre factory in Denmark’s forested north that runs a partly automated assembly line.