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Persons below the state pension age on public benefits

The purpose of the statistics is to show trends in average/full-time participation in labour market policy measures. Based on a report prepared by the activation statistics committee (report no. 1259) the first statistics were compiled as from the first quarter of 1994. The reason for setting up the committee was that the Danish statistics at that time were unable to provide reliable data on the wide variety of municipal activation schemes. The committee's work was performed over the period December 1992 to October 1993. Since 1994 new measures have been introduced and others have ceased. As from the third quarter of 1999 the number of persons working in flex- and sheltered jobs are published concurrently with the labour market policy measures. Persons participating in activation according to the job integration act were included from the first quarter of 2000. As from the third quarter of 2003, and with effect in the publications as from the first quarter of 2004, a number of changes to the codes/names were undertaken due to a political reform that meant the introduction of new activation schemes, whereas other schemes ceased to exist. From 2007 the statistics is extended with persons on early retirement pay, sickness benefit, maternity leave and from 2008 it is extended furthermore with young people in ordinary education ('SU-modtagere').

Statistical presentation

The statistics provide data on trends in the average number of participants (beneath their state pension age) with public benefits, analyzed by labour market policy measure. Activation under the act on active labour market policy (persons entitled to claim unemployment benefits), section 16 of the act on active social policy (recipients of cash benefits), sections 21-23 of the job integration act (recipients of introductory allowance), the act on leave (both persons entitled to claim unemployment benefits and recipients of cash benefits), the act on adult education subsidies and the act on labour market education, are regarded as labour market policy measures. The activities take place within the following main groups: Unemployed, persons in supported employment, leave, education/training, other activation, integration allowance, sickness benefit and different kinds of early retirement pay. The figure on average number of participants (full-time participants), which is extracted from the AMFORA statistics, is a volume measurement. The figures (except the figures concerning flex- and sheltered jobs) is comparable with the average number of full-time unemployed in the unemployment statistics.

From June 2022 the statistics is extended to include persons receiving 'Early Pension", 'Senior Pension' and 'Adult apprenticeship support'.

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Statistical processing

All data necessary for the statistics is collected from administrative registers. The data is collected through SAS-files and FTP-servers. When the data files are collected we make a preliminary validation of each file. Afterwards the data is loaded in the database (PSD) on a uniform format. After that illegal overlapping time periods where the same person is receiving different conflicting public benefits are eliminated before the total data amount is transmitted into a 'production database' from where the statistics is published.

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'Users': Municipalities, regions, ministries, organizations and the media. 'Fields of application': Public labour market surveillance. There has not been any actual 'satisfaction-examination' carried out, but the general use of the statistics, media, has always been considerable, and the statistics is expected to be an important part of the future 'Labour market account' (AMR), which is going to be released in the spring 2015.

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Accuracy and reliability

All data necessary for the statistics is collected from administrative registers. The statistics cover the population aged 16-64 who is receiving some sort of public benefits. Conflicting and erroneous information about each individual person may frequently occur as the statistics are compiled from a variety of administrative registers. Examples are a person who is regarded as both a recipient of cash benefits and as a person entitled to claim unemployment benefits, or a person participating in several activation schemes at the same time, which exceed 37 hours per week, or a person participating in the same activation over an unrealistic long period of time. The main reason for these errors is that the respondents fail to update the existing data as soon as new data is available. Error correction is some times undertaken by Statistics Denmark on the basis of logical requirements and some times by the respondents themselves. However, the best possible solution is for error correction to be undertaken by the respondents themselves. The municipalities report data on persons entitled to claim cash benefits and similar allowances in various ways. Currently there is no estimates/numbers available on the total statistical errors.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The quarterly statistics is published roughly 80 days after the end of the reference quarter and the yearly statistics is published roughly 110 days after the end of the reference year. The exact release dates are advertised a year ahead.

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The current statistics on persons receiving public benefits covers in general the time period from the 1. of January 2007 and onwards. Persons receiving ordinary education (SU-modtagere) is only included from the 1. of January 2008 and onwards. From 2006 to 2007 there are some differences in the covering and in the concepts. However, some time series in the stat bank starts back in the first quarter of 1994. The general comparability is reduced by the many changes in the measures over time. When the statistics is based on a number of national administrative registers it is obviously very difficult to make any international comparisons. However, Eurostat has tried to make some international comparisons in the area of participants/expenditures on some sorts of public benefits through their Labour Market Policy (LMP)-database.

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Accessibility and clarity

These statistics are published in a Danish press release and in the StatBank under Persons below the state pension age on public benefits. For more information please see the subject page for Persons receiving public benefits.

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