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Labour and Income, Social Statistics
Flemming von Hadeln Løve
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Working time accounts

The statistics is a quarterly and yearly calculation of hours actually worked, number of employees, number of jobs and wages in DKK million. The statistics are distributed by industry, sector, whether you are an employee or self-employed, and by gender.

Data description

The Danish Working Time Accounts (WTA), in Danish Arbejdstidsregnskabet (ATR), produce integrated statistics with consistent time series on employment, jobs, number of hours worked and compensation of employees on an annual and quarterly basis.

The WTA transmit quarterly data to the Eurostat short term business statistics (STS). The variables transmitted to STS are: - Number of Persons Employed - Hours Worked Paid hours worked in the jobs. - Gross Wages and Salaries

An employed person can have one or more jobs. A job is defined as a person connected to a workplace (establishment). In each job the person performs a number of hours worked and receives as compensation a salary measured in DKK.

The WTA is not calculated at the level of individual jobs. Data in WTA are aggregated, where the number of hours worked, compensation of employees, the average number of jobs and the average employment are summed to industry level (6 digit DB), sector, socioeconomic status (3 groups), sex (2 groups), and scope of work (5 groups). From this level data are summarized for publication level (including various types of industrial aggregates).

Classification system

Danish Industrial Classification (DB07) (compatible to NACE rew 2) is used for classifying workplaces according to their main activity. NACE aggregatesr are use in international reports. Also, the Danish working time accounts (WTA) are broken down on national accounts industry groupings.

The workplace sector is determined using the national account sectors (ESA 2010 sectors) to make a 2 group sector breakdown: general government versus Corporations and organizations. A detailed description of the transformation to ESA 2010 sectors is given in the paper Ny sektorkode i beskæftigelsesstatistikkerne (New sector code in the employment statistics - in Danish only).

Socioeconomic status is a breakdown on three groups: employee, self-employed or assisting spouse.

Full-time work is defined as at least 32 paid hours of work in the job per week for employment over the entire week, or at least 139 paid hours of work in the job for employment over the entire month.

Sector coverage

The statistics covers all the national accounts (ESA 2010) sectors that Danish registered companies can be assigned (i.e. all sectors excluding rest of the world and foreign-controlled entities). However, sectors are aggregated to a division into 2 groups, respectively Corporations and organizations and General government.

General government include central government, regional government, municipal government, and social security funds.

Corporations and organizations includes private corporations, public corporations, private non-profit organizations and sector not stated.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Employment: Employed is, if one has an attachment to a workplace in the form of a job where you at least have one hour of paid work in the reference week. However, there is no requirement for the number of paid working hours for employees who are temporarily absent. Persons who up to a period of 45 days have not received salary, but subsequently returned to the same employer, are included in the period without pay. Employment is an assessment of how many people (headcount) are employed at any given time. See detailed description of Concepts in the Danish Working Time Accounts.

Job: A job is defined as a person connected to a workplace. The same person can have several jobs at the same time. Jobs shows the number of jobs that are active (excluding temporary absences in the form of e.g. maternity or other leave) at any given time. The labour market statistics are a job actively, if there is a minimum of 1 paid hour per week. Persons who up to a period of 45 days have not received salary, but subsequently returned to the same employer, are included in the period without pay. See detailed description of Concepts in the Danish Working Time Accounts.

Compensation of employees: Compensation for hours worked or for hours paid but not worked. Compensation of employees in the Danisk Working Time Accounts (WTA) includes compensation of employees in cash or in kind which the employer pays to an employee for work performed in an accounting period. See detailed description of Concepts in the Danish Working Time Accounts.

Hours Worked: Hours worked are defined as hours paid by employers, including paid overtime and excluding paid hours of absence. Unpaid overtime hours and criminal (incl. black) work are excluded from the calculation of hours worked in the Danish Working Time Accounts (WTA). See detailed description of Concepts in the Danish Working Time Accounts.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit in the Danish Working Time Accounts (WTA) is the job that the person has at the individual workplace (establishment).

Statistical population

Employed employees, self-employed and assisting spouses of Danish registered enterprises.

The population covers persons working in Danish enterprises or on Danish ships. The population of the Danish working time accounts (WTA) are persons affiliated to Danish registered companies, which is consistent with European system of (national) accounts (ESA2010) boundaries. ESA2010 includes working in resident companies (see ESA 2010 paragraphs 2.04 to 2.11).

The WTA do not include employees, self-employed or assisting spouses of foreign business enterprises hired out for work in Denmark according to the rules governing hiring-out of labour.

Regarding data transmitted to the Eurostat short term business statistics (STS), only data in market sector are transmitted (i.e. ESA2010 sectors Non-financial corporations (S.11), Financial corporations (S.12 ), Households (S.14) and Sector not stated).

Reference area

The Danish Working Time Account covers, as in the Danish national accounts, the economic territory of the Kingdom of Denmark excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which is in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 109/2005.

Time coverage

Q1 2008 - (for all indicators in all breakdowns).

Base period

Not relevant for this Danish release.

The new EU regulation works exclusively with indices. Index years appear in the statistics and change over time

Unit of measure

Employment is calculated as number of persons (average over the reference period).

Job is calculated as the number of jobs (average over the reference period).

Hours worked are calculated as the number of hours. In STATBANK these are calculated in 1000 hours.

Compensation of employees is measured in DKK. In STATBANK compensation of employees measured in millions DKK.

In the new SBS regulation, only indices are published on the basis of the different units as mentioned above

Reference period

The reference period of the figures in the annual Working Time Accounts (WTA) is the calendar year whereas the reference period of the quarterly working time accounts are the quarters.

Frequency of dissemination

Annual and quarterly statistics are published. Two annual statements (in September with preliminary data for the last year, and in February with final data), and four quarterly statements are released.

The WTA transmit quarterly data to the Eurostat short term business statistics (STS). The variables transmitted to STS are: - Employees and self-employed person- Hours Worked -Paid hours worked in the jobs. - Wages and Salaries (Variable 230)

Legal acts and other agreements

The statistics provides labour market data to EUROSTAT business short-term regulation (STS) and the national accounts (ESA / ESA).

STS: Council Regulation (EC) concerning short-term statistics:

-The statistics fall under Council Regulation (EC) No 2019/2152 of 27 November 2019 concerning European Business Statistics ESA / ESA: Council Regulation (EC) on the European system of national accounts:

Cost and burden

No response burden is calculated as the statistics build on existing statistical products.


The labour market and hence the working time account are strongly affected by the shutdown of society from mid-March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and by the measures put in place to mitigate the effects of the shutdown. The exceptional circumstances in mean that the quarterly employment and hours worked figures are subject to significantly greater uncertainty than usual. See attached documentation Special conditions for publication in 2020 and in 2021 (pdf) in danish only

The system for the Working Time Accounts (WTA) is the result of a three-year project established in Statistics Denmark in 1995 with grants by The European Social Fund. The purpose of the project was to improve the current statistical description of the Danish labour market. The background to the WTA is that there has been a considerable expansion in the number of statistics covering the labour market and the fact that the figures from different statistics are not immediately comparable. The project work has been concentrated on developing statistical systems integrating already existing labour market statistics. In December 1998 the project ended with the publication of a report (in Danish only): "Integrated Labour Market Statistics - the Labour Market Accounts and the Working Time Accounts 1995-97" ("Integreret arbejdsmarkedsstatistik - Arbejdsmarkedsregnskab og Arbejdstidsregnskab 1995-97") in which two new statistical systems were presented. In 1999 the WTA were presented by Statistics Denmark with the inclusion of annual as well as quarterly statistics.

Differences in concepts and statistics on employment and number of hours worked are described in the following paper differences in concepts between employment statistics.

Additional documentation of differences between the employment statistics can be found at employment.

Documentation relating exclusively to the working time accounts can be found at the Working Time Accounts.