How many jobs do I have to apply for?

As unemployed, you must be an active jobseeker. But what does that mean?

"How many job applications will I have to send to avoid any doubt about my availability to the labour market?" is one of the questions which are often heard by CA's employees.

The answer is that this will always come down to an individual assessment. As a rule of thumb, however, we say that if you apply for at least 2 full-time jobs in Denmark each week and 1 of the applications is in response to an advertised vacancy – and if you follow your job plan in all respects – then you will steer clear of any problems regarding the availability assessment.

You are not required by law to send a particular number of job applications (see the fact box below).

The rule of thumb has emerged from a number of cases where the unemployment insurance funds' availability assessments have been under review by the Ministry of Employment, which established that it is not enough to only apply for one job a week.

The Ministry of Employment has also pointed out that, as a general rule, it is not enough to send unsolicited job applications. The applications must also be for advertised vacancies. This is the basis on which your availability will be assessed, unless otherwise provided in your job plan.

What to do in holiday periods if less vacancies are advertised?

Especially during the summer holidays, fewer permanent positions are advertised. This is because most employers advertise positions well before the summer holidays or wait until after the holidays.

But this does not mean that you will be allowed to reduce your job-search activity level if you want to receive benefits through the summer or at Christmas time.

If the number of relevant jobs that are advertised is not enough, you will have to expand your job search. That is, you must expand it geographically or apply for jobs which fall outside your area of work or do not match your organisational level. You may also supplement the traditional job search activities by sending a greater number of unsolicited applications.

If you want to take a holiday from your job search, you must inform the Jobcenter at least 14 days in advance. CA will be automatically notified of your holiday by the Jobcenter. You will not be entitled to benefits while taking holiday, but if you have earned the right to receive holiday allowance from an employer or holiday benefits from the unemployment insurance fund, you will receive such allowance or benefits instead while on holiday.

Read about holiday while unemployed

Do you need to apply for jobs if you are about to start a new job?

If you can demonstrate that you will be starting a full-time job or, for instance, be taking paternity/maternity leave or starting full-time studies within the next six weeks, you may ask the Jobcenter to be assigned to the Less intensive activity programme. However, this does not apply if the job you are starting is a wage-subsidised job.

Once your Jobcenter has approved your eligibility:

  • You will no longer need to apply for jobs or keep your job log
  • You will no longer need to attend meetings with CA and the Jobcenter

However, you must still be available for any job facilitated by your Jobcenter.

What the law says

If you are unemployed, there is no requirement under the law for you to apply for a particular number of jobs. 

Instead, there is a requirement for you, if you're unemployed, to be an active jobseeker and apply for all jobs that you can reasonably perform – on a usual full-time basis and on terms which are normal for the occupational area in question. You must also apply for jobs within a commuting radius of up to three hours a day by public transport.

When the unemployment insurance fund is to assess in connection with the availability meetings whether you have applied for enough jobs to be considered "available to the labour market", it will thus depend specifically on:

  • Which competences and work experience you have
  • Which jobs you may be able to perform
  • Which job opportunities there have been
  • Which jobs you have applied for; and 
  • What arrangements are agreed in your job plan with regard to your job search