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Registered unemployment

Last updated: 30-04-2020

The purpose is to produce statistics monitoring the structure and trends in the unemployed population and the causes of unemployment. The statistics are compiled on the basis of registers. The statistics on the registered number of net unemployed have been compiled by Statistics Denmark since 1979. As from the publication of unemployment statistics for January 2010, attention is now focused on the gross unemployed population, defined as the sum of the registered (net-) unemployed population and persons in activation programmes and who are, at the same time, considered to be available for work. The figures on gross unemployment are calculated from January 2007 and onwards.

Statistical presentation

The register based unemployment statistics (gross- and net-unemployed) provide monthly data on the unemployed population registered with the unemployment insurance funds and with the public job centres. The statistics comprise all unemployed persons insured against unemployment and non-insured persons who are available for work and at the same time claiming cash benefits under the Danish Social Assistance Act. The statistics are shown by municipality, sex, age group, type of benefit, unemployment insurance funds, country of origin and level of education. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all job search and availability obligations for the national unemployment benefit and cash benefit recipients have been suspended as of March 20, 2020. Despite this suspension, Statistics Denmark has chosen to continue to include unemployment benefit recipients and job-ready cash benefit recipients in gross unemployment.

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Statistical processing

All the data is collected from administrative registers. After receiving the data we make a data validation and a harmonization before entering the data into our oracle-database for further data processing, including an elimination of illegal 'overlapping' data.

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Relevance

  • Users: Municipalities, regions, ministries, job centers, organizations, international organizations, the media, private business enterprises, and private individuals.
  • Fields of application: Public and private structural analyses and trade cycle surveys, educational purposes and public debate.

There has not been any actual 'satisfaction-examination' carried out, but the general use of the statistics, for instance by the media, has always been considerable.

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Accuracy and reliability

The statistics comprise all unemployed persons aged 16-65. Only persons registered as recipients of unemployment benefits or social assistance/initial assistance are covered by the statistics. Persons who do not recieve social assistance or unemployment benefits are thus excluded from the statistics on unemployment, although they are registered with the public job centres. Furthermore, the unemployed hours for which unemployment benefits cannot be claimed are (due to the rules for minimum payment of unemployment benefits) only included in the statistics provided that they appear from the reported data.

It is impossible to give a single figure on the statistical accuracy, but apart from the circumstance that a person must receive unemployment benefits or social assistance in order to be registered as unemployed, the accuracy of the statistics is relatively high.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The monthly statistics is published roughly 30 days after the end of the reference month and the yearly statistics is published roughly 110 days after the end of the reference year. These official release dates are always published a year ahead.

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Comparability

The statistics on the registered number of net unemployed have been compiled by Statistics Denmark since 1979. To avoid a great number of discontinuities of the data series, the statistics have roughly speaking remained unchanged since 1979. However, the unemployment statistics have been adjusted as from the publication of unemployment figures for January 2008. The underlying primary data have been edited and changes have been made to the concept of unemployment, which imply that the Danish concept of net unemployment is now closer to the definition of unemployment applied by the International Labour Office, ILO, see item 3.1. All changes have been made back to April 2000. As from the publication of unemployment statistics for January 2010, attention is now also focused on the gross unemployed population, defined as the sum of the registered (net-) unemployed population and persons in activation programmes and who are, at the same time, considered to be available for work. The figures on gross unemployment are calculated from January 2007 and onwards. When the register based unemployment statistics depends on a number of national administrative registers it is not a good statistics for international comparisons. For international comparisons of unemployment you ought to use the unemployment figures from the labour force surveys in the different countries instead.

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Accessibility and clarity

Monthly publications: Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik (News from Statistics Denmark) and Statistikbanken (Stat bank Denmark). Quarterly publications: Statistikbanken (Stat bank Denmark). Annual publications: Statistisk Årbog (Statistical Yearbook), Statistisk Tiårsoversigt (Statistical Ten-Year Review), Arbejdsmarked (Labour market) appearing in the series Statistiske Efterretninger (Statistical News) and Statistikbanken (Stat bank Denmark).

You find more information on: Unemployment.

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