Over the past 12 months, the number of Eastern European workers in Denmark has dropped by some 4,000, with employers tending to lay off the cheaper Eastern Europeans rather than their more expensive Danish counterparts, according to Berlingske Tidence.
Although Eastern Europeans tend to work for lower wages than their Danish construction colleagues, they also appear to be at the top of the list when layoffs have to be chosen as a result of the current recession.
According to figures from the Labour Market Board, the number of Eastern Europeans with an active working permit in Denmark has fallen from 12,784 to 8,814 – despite the fact that it has become much easier for companies to import foreign workers.
“The drop in working permits for workers from the new EU countries is much higher than the rise in unemployment. When it became possible for Eastern Europeans to work in the old EU countries, there were all sorts of forecasts that suggested that employers would keep the so-called ‘cheap foreign labour’ and lay off the expensive Danes when unemployment began to bite. But we can see that that certainly has not happened,” says Labour Market Board Head of Department Erik Holck Hansen.
Edited by Julian Isherwood