Dennis Harmon lost his job, but that doesn't mean he'll lose his livelihood.
The veteran bricklayer is entitled to the maximum jobless benefits in Denmark: $594 a week. After taxes, that's enough to cover rent for his two-room apartment outside Copenhagen, utilities and payments on his 1996 Opel Vectra.
"There's not much left for fun," mutters Harmon, a 40-year-old Dane whose surname is tattooed on his right forearm.
Even so, Harmon receives a level of compensation that people losing their jobs in many parts of the world can only dream of.
Robustis a key feature of Denmark's labor market model, studied so widely in recent years that it rivals Carlsberg beer and Lego toys among the Scandinavian nation's most famous trademarks.
Called "flexicurity," it combines flexibility for employers to hire and fire workers with financial security for the unemployed. And experts say it helps explain why both Danish businesses and workers are entering thein better shape than most of their Western peers.
"People here are not worried about losing their jobs to the extent that they are in the U.S.," says Torben Andersen, an economist at the University of Aarhus, western Denmark. "If people get unemployed, it doesn't mean they will have to sell their house. They know the unemployment coverage is there."
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