Over 300.000 fewer jobs in the Netherlands due to coronavirus
New figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) have revealed that over 300.000 jobs in the Netherlands were lost as a result of the coronavirus crisis in the second quarter of 2020, and that the Dutch economy has shrunk by a whopping 8,5 percent.
322.000 fewer jobs following coronavirus
Between April and June 2020, there were a total of 322.000 fewer jobs in the Netherlands than in the same period in 2019. According to CBS, this is a record decrease of three percent, and can be attributed to the coronavirus crisis.
The figures reveal that, in the first quarter of 2020, there were 81 job vacancies for every 100 unemployed people. However, in Q2, this number dropped to just 57 for every 100 unemployed. At the start of 2020, there were 277.000 unemployed people in the Netherlands. This figure has now risen to 349.000.
The trade and catering (Horeca) industries are said to have been the hardest hit. The figures released by CBS also show that people working under flexible contracts have been particularly vulnerable. Almost a fifth of all flexible workers who lost their job worked as a waiter or bar staff. Tens of thousands of shop employees, drivers, and cleaners also found themselves without work in recent months. On the other hand, the number of self-employed people and people in permanent positions has increased.
Due to the effects of the NOW scheme, implemented by the Dutch government to provide support for struggling businesses, it is generally believed that the reality on the job market is likely even worse than it currently appears. The NOW scheme allowed for businesses to continue paying the salaries of their employees, even if they were unable to carry out their jobs.
Dutch economy shrinks by 8,5 percent
CBS has also released the long-awaited figures regarding the effect of the coronavirus on the Dutch economy. The economy shrunk by a total of 8,5 percent in the second quarter of 2020 in comparison to the first quarter. The decrease is said to largely be a result of reduced household spending.
For months, it was expected that the economy would suffer a significant blow as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. The economy shrank by 1,5 percent in Q1.
CBS has been keeping quarterly records of economic growth since 1987. Never before has the Dutch economy taken such a big hit. Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at CBS, calls the decline catastrophic. Until now, the most significant shrinkage was experienced in 2009, when the economy contracted by 3,6 percent from quarter to quarter.