Tensions in the Dutch labour market growing

Tensions in the Dutch labour market growing

The tensions in the Dutch labour market are ever increasing. This is due to the increase in job vacancies and the simultaneous decrease in unemployment.

Record numbers for job vacancies and unemployment

In the first quarter of this year, the number of job vacancies reached record heights, namely 277.000, according to Netherlands Statistics (CBS). The increase in jobs on offer was not restricted to one sector either: it was pretty much across the board, but especially high in the care, trade, transport and hospitality sectors. Moreover, the total number of jobs for employees rose by 53.000 and jobs for self-employed persons by 1.000. Never before were there so many jobs!

Whilst the number of vacancies rose, the number of people out of work decreased by 14.000 compared to the previous quarter. This leaves the unemployment rate at 3,4 percent, the lowest it has been since the crisis of 2008.

Figures may not be all they seem

Although the figures may seem good, not everyone in the Netherlands is benefiting from them, according to Dutch trade union CNV. Around two million people work under uncertain contracts, asserts the chairman of CNV, Arend van Wijngaarden.

CNV also reports that 600.000 people need more than one job to make ends meet and that 20.000 live below the poverty line. The union is calling on employers to offer their employees more certainty, better labour conditions and a good working environment. The union FNV has observed that there are few secure jobs in sectors which have a lot of vacancies. In these sectors, the labour conditions are also unappealing.

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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mokumhammer 11:04 | 4 June 2019

There are scant few jobs that offer much more than the minimum wage however, & far less offering permanent contracts

Danah Cooper 13:14 | 6 June 2019

They need to increase minimum wage and all wages to catch up with the increase of cost of living.