Graduated – and unemployed

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

There may be some time between your last exam and first job. So here is a guide for everything to do with “a-kasse”, unemployment benefits, and Jobnet.

When is it a good idea to sign up for an “a-kasse”?
If you sign up a year before you graduate, you can get unemployment benefits from the first day as a recent graduate. If you delay signing up until you are done, you can not get unemployment benefits until a month later.

Why sign up for an “a-kasse”?
As a member of an “a-kasse”, you have a sort of insurance that generally means you can get unemployment benefits for two years, regardless of your other economic situations. If you are not the member of an “a-kasse”, you can apply for unemployment benefits from the local authorities, but the economic benefits will depend on whether you and your potential spouse has assets or employment.

What does an “a-kasse” cost?
As a student, it is usually free to be a member of an “a-kasse”. After graduation, it costs 436 dkr a month (2018 numbers) to be a member of Akademikernes A-kasse, who, according to their own statements, is the cheapest “a-kasse” in the country for academics. You can sign up for the “a-kasse” via their website.

When are you considered unemployed as a recent graduate?
When all the exams are done, and you have gotten all your grades.

How can you mark yourself as unemployed?
You mark yourself as unemployed at Jobnet. You create a user with NemID. You have to name at least one job wish in Jobnet, and no later than two weeks afterwards, you have to create your résumé and make it available, so companies can find you.

How much unemployment benefits do you get as a recent graduate?
When you are a recent graduate, you get what is called the graduate rate. Parents get 15,279 kr a month before taxes. Non-parents get 13,323 kr before taxes (2018 numbers). You automatically earn the right to a higher grade, when you:

  • Have had the right to unemployment benefits for six months (you do not have to have been unemployed, as long as you have had the right to unemployment benefits).
  • Have listed three months of salary to SKAT after graduation. The work has to have been after finished studies.
  • Have finished a term of employment.

The salary your job gave you will be the foundation of your unemployment benefits. You can get 18,633 kr a month in unemployment benefits before taxes, at most (2018 numbers).

Do you get anything from an “a-kasse” other than money?
You get help with your situation in the job market with the goal of finding a job that fits you. In Akademikernes A-kasse, you are invited to a welcome meeting, and you can participate in workshops about applying for jobs and get individual, targeted advice.

There are workshops about the whole process:
finding out what you love, what your competences are, what your job application strategy can be, and what you can write in your application and résumé to get the best possible outcome.

Through the “a-kasse”, you can get job suggestions if you create a job profile. Sometimes the “a-kasse” will also make contact with companies that need employees.

 Sources:,, Akademikernes A-kasse.

What duties do you have when you have marked yourself as unemployed?
You have to show up for a meeting in the municipality’s job center every month. You also have to log in and check if there are job suggestions for you in Jobnet at least every seven days. In the “a-kasse”, you have to show up for a meeting within three months and again within six months. You also have to apply for one-two jobs a week, equal to six jobs in four weeks.

What do you do when you get a job?
When you have landed the job, you mark yourself as employed on Jobnet. In a period of six weeks before you start a full time job, you do not have to apply for jobs and show up to meetings in “a-kasse” and at the job center.

How do recently graduated engineers experience the start on the job market?
About half get a job within three months after graduation. About 90% are employed before a year has passed. These numbers are based on members of Akademikernes A-kasse who are also members of IDA.