Biggest increase in employment in the Netherlands since 2008

Biggest increase in employment in the Netherlands since 2008

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) the second quarter of 2017 saw yet another increase in the number of jobs, the biggest increase on a yearly basis since 2008.

Employment in the Netherlands

For the last three years the number of filled positions has been increasing. The sum total of people working in the Netherlands, including freelancers, full-timers and part-timers came to an average of 10,2 million.

The increase in jobs in the second quarter mainly applies to those in employment, as this number rose by 50.000 to a total of over eight million. Freelance jobs also experienced an increase of 1.000, giving a new total of over two million.

Up until now 2007-2008 saw the largest rise in jobs, with 335.000 being created. This year seems to be following a similar trend, as 51.000 jobs were created in the second quarter, and the last three quarters also saw increases of more than 50.000. The 2017 yearly rate of increase is set at 199.000.

Decrease in unemployment

According to the definition of ‘unemployment’ by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of unemployed people has decreased. In the second quarter of this year, the number of unemployed people totalled 452.000, only five percent of the working population, and 19.000 less than the previous quarter.

Sectors with the most growth

Almost all sectors observed growth in the second quarter of 2017. The construction industry experienced the most growth, namely 8.000 jobs, since 2007. The trade, transport and hospitality industry also saw a job increase of 12.000.

However, the strongest growth was noted by recruitment agencies, accounting for 20.000 plus jobs in the Netherlands in the previous quarter.

Whilst most sectors witnessed an increase in jobs, two, financial services and agriculture and fisheries, saw a decrease. Both suffered a loss of 2.000.

Average worked hour increases

In the second quarter of 2017 freelancers and people in employment worked 0,4 percent more than the first quarter, a total of 3,3 billion hours.

An average of 25 hours per week per job were worked. A great deal of people have more than one job, this then raises the average per worker per week to 28 hours, after holiday time and sick leave have been discounted.

More job vacancies, higher vacancy rate

In the last four years the number of job vacancies has been increasing steadily every quarter. This number is now at its highest since 2006, totalling just over 204.000.

From 2001 to now, there have only been two years, 2006-2008, in which the number of vacancies has been higher. Again, this increase has been experienced by all sectors, excluding financial services and agricultural and fisheries. The trade industry felt the most growth.

With the increase in job vacancies, the vacancy rate has also increased. This rate is the highest in the ICT industry, with 55 vacancies per 1.000 filled positions.

Now, on average, the ratio of vacancies to unemployed people looking for a job and immediately available, is 2,2. This is due to the decrease in unemployment and increase in job vacancies.

For more figures see CBS (in Dutch).

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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