Danish companies’ exports create 775,000 jobs. This is the highest level since the financial crisis. The many jobs are particularly located west of the Great Belt.

A new study from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) shows that foreign purchases of Danish goods and services create jobs for 775,000 Danes.

The many jobs are created partly in the companies that have sales overseas and partly in the many companies that supply goods or services to the exporting companies.

According to Deputy Director at DI Kent Damsgaard, the study underlines the fact that exports are not only crucial for a large part of Danish business but for the country as a whole.

“Danish companies are doing very well abroad. There is high demand for Danish goods and services. As the study shows, this is good news not only for Danish companies but also for many hundreds of thousands of Danes,” he says.

No jobs without exports

One of the companies that have had success with foreign sales is the electronics company Linak, which is headquartered in Guderup on the island of Als.

About 95 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from overseas, says Director Bent Jensen.

“Without exports, Linak would be a significantly smaller company. And there is no doubt that we would have significantly fewer employees in Denmark and overseas if it were not for the commercial potential outside Denmark’s borders,” he says and adds that Linak employs about 1,100 people in Denmark.

Linak’s exports make it possible to produce in a whole different volume and, because of this, it has become of interest commercially to invest in robots that can make the work up to ten times faster than manual labour.

“If Denmark were our only market, we would never become big. It is because of our foreign sales that we can afford to invest in new technology that will enable us to withstand competition from China,” says Bent Jensen.

The crisis is history

The study from DI also highlights the fact that the financial crisis is now more or less history. The amount of export jobs is thus rapidly approaching its previous peak of about 800,000 jobs. In the course of the last six years, about 75,000 Danish jobs were created as a result of exports.

Many of the new jobs are located in Jutland, which is the most international region in Denmark in terms in of export jobs.

This has to do with the fact that many Jutlandic municipalities with much employment in sectors such as resource extraction, production and agriculture have large exports, while municipalities with many jobs in the public sector are less dependent on exports.

One of the main challenges for exporting companies is that it has become increasingly difficult to acquire sufficient qualified workforce, explains Deputy Director at DI, Kent Damsgaard.

“The demand for Danish quality goods and services is high overseas. If job growth is to continue, it is therefore a matter of ensuring that qualified workforce is available. Unfortunately, many of DI’s member companies find themselves recruiting without success,” says Kent Damsgaard.

He urges politicians to consider initiatives to support companies in finding the employees they need.

According to DI’s annual study of the local business climate, which is based on responses from more than 7,000 companies, 36 per cent of companies have recruited unsuccessfully.


  • The exports-related jobs exist at companies with direct exports overseas or that supply products and services to the exporting companies via subcontract labour.
  • Included in this calculation are also the investments that the export companies and their sub-suppliers make and that create jobs in connection with exports. This could for example be companies that invest in a new factory or machines in order to produce goods and services for sales in export markets.

Source: Danish Industry (DI)      

Image: Fotosearch