Research area 4 – University of Copenhagen

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Labour migration 

Research area 4 

Migrant workers play an increasingly important role in the Danish labour market as more migrant workers have come here to work in recent years. These are mostly high-skilled foreigners, but there is also a large group of Central and Eastern European workers who mainly work in unskilled jobs and certain skilled job areas. Historically, the influx of foreign labour has been driven by the demand for labour. At the same time, it was typically individuals that came to the country and were hired by Danish companies. Today, labour migration has become a more complex phenomenon.

In this research area, we closely follow the trends regarding the extent and variety of foreign labour in Denmark. We will analyse employers’ strategies in relation to foreign labour, including issues in connection to insourcing and outsourcing, specific recruitment techniques and retention challenges. We will also focus on the effect of labour migration on wages and employment relations in the Danish model.

During the programme period, the focus will be on four issues. In addition to this, there will be accompanying research on selected issues:

  • Effects of the presence of foreign labour
  • Wages and employment conditions of foreign labour across sectors 
  • Labour migration and multilevel regulation 
  • Employers’ labour strategies 
  • Accompanying research: Statistics on foreign labour in Denmark


These issues will be addressed in the following projects: