Skip to content

Unemployed persons (register)

The register based unemployment statistics publish numbers on of the net unemployment and the gross unemployment. The net unemployment consists of recipients of unemployment benefits and recipients of social benefits who are not in activation. The gross unemployment consists of the total number of net unemployment and those in activation deemed ready for work.


Statistic Denmark publishes two unemployment figures

LFS unemployed

Registered unemployed


Short about the figures

LFS unemployed Registered unemployed
Based on

(figures from the Labour Force Survey)





(figures from the National Labour Market Authority)
Method a quarterly questionnaire-based sample survey with 89,000 interviews per year monthly register-based full-scale survey
Unemployed persons

- are out of work,
- are available for work and have
- actively looked for work in the past four weeks





All registered unemployed persons,
- who claim unemployment benefits from an employment insurance fund or
- are recipients of social assistance who are ready for work 
Unit Number of PERSONS  Persons are converted to FULL-TIME
More information 

What is LFS? 
StatBank Denmark
Declaration of content





StatBank Denmark
Declaration of content





The two unemployment figures


Registered unemployment

What is the registered unemployment?

The registered unemployment is a monthly full-scale survey of all registered unemployed persons, i.e. persons claiming unemployment benefits from an unemployment insurance fund, or recipients of social assistance who are ready for work (match-category 1-3).

Where are the data coming from?

Data reported by the unemployment insurance funds concerning recipients of unemployment benefits and data collected by the National Labour Market Authority from the municipalities concerning recipients of social assistance,  which are subsequently passed on to Statistics Denmark.

The unemployed recipients of social assistance are included, who have match category 1-3, are not participating in an activation programme and are neither exempted from being available for work. Before unemployment benefits are paid out by the unemployment insurance fund, they must ensure that the recipients of unemployment benefits are ready for work and thereby unemployed.

How are register-based unemployment and gross unemployment compiled?

In the register-based unemployment, unemployed persons are converted into full-time unemployed. A person, who is only unemployed half the time of a month will be counted as "a half-time unemployed" person in the statistics covering the month in question. The statistics on the register-based unemployment have been published in Denmark since 1979.

From March 2010, seasonally adjusted figures for total gross unemployment are also published. In this context, gross unemployment is defined as the sum of the registered unemployed persons and persons participating in an activation programme and who are ready for work.

When should the registered-based unemployment be used?

- when a monthly up-to-date unemployment indicator is requested 
- when a long time series from 1979 is requested 
- in connection with small personal groups (e.g. women aged 55-59 living in Bornholm) 
- in connection with statistics distributed by unemployment insurance funds or by unemployed hours 
- in conducting linkages with other register variables, e.g. education,  descent and country of origin.

The register-based unemployment statistics do not fully comply with the international ILO definition of unemployment. The most important differences are that:

- students and pensioners are never registered as unemployed, as they are not entitled to claim unemployment benefits nor social assistance. 
- part-time unemployed persons in the reference period are converted into full-time unemployed.

Documentation of statistics

Get an overview of the purpose, content and quality of the statistics. Here you can find information on the sources that the statistics are derived from, what the statistics contains and how often it is published.

Key figures

Related content in Unemployed persons (register)

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Do you need help finding the right statistics?
Contact our Information Service

Do you need customised statistics, help with interview surveys, or do you, as a researcher, want access to microdata? Then you are in the right place.
Read about our products and services


Carsten Bo Nielsen