Summary so far: Denmark has an extensive safety net and high taxes. As per usual, the situation is a lot more complicated than the buzz. Last time we looked at the health care system. Now we’re going to take a closer look at unemployment benefits. You’ll read on Bernie Sanders website that in Denmark, a worker can receive unemployment insurance covers up to 90 percent of earnings for as long as two years. Sounds great – but of course the situation is more complicated. As it turns out, the unemployment benefit maxes out at the American equivalent of $2230 per month (compared to about $1900/month in California). So it’s a good deal mostly for low-income workers.
But the Danish government makes it hard to enjoy the benefit for long. They have this thing call an “activation program”, which is kinda like harassing someone to get back to work: you know, like having to see a job counselor and getting referred to job openings, which if you don’t accept, your benefits get cut for awhile. And that’s why the average duration of unemployment in Denmark is all of 4 months and the unemployment rate is just 6.3%.