Netherlands becoming less attractive to expats and businesses

Netherlands becoming less attractive to expats and businesses

Fewer labour and knowledge migrants are choosing to move to the Netherlands for work, a new study has found. According to market researcher Intelligence Group, the negative attitude towards labour migration is one of the main reasons for this. This has also negatively impacted the business climate with more entrepreneurs considering leaving the country. 

The Netherlands becoming less attractive for labour migrants

Many internationals searching for work abroad are choosing other countries over the Netherlands, such as Germany and the UK, more frequently. The Intelligence Group reported that the reasons that labour and knowledge migrants have been choosing the Netherlands less often are because of politics, the housing market, rogue employment agencies and the increasing intolerance towards internationals. 

Some employers have expressed concern about the negative attitude towards migration as there is a labour market shortage, especially in technology and healthcare, and migrant workers are needed to tackle these challenges. The chip machine maker ASML has recently stated that they might move parts of their operations to other countries if there are insufficient workers to be found in the Netherlands.

Business climate in the Netherlands deteriorating

Expats aren’t the only ones that have concerns about the Netherlands. An annual survey conducted by VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland on the business climate found that out of 1.600 participants, 44 percent of entrepreneurs did not find the Netherlands an attractive country to do business in and almost 20 percent had considered leaving the country altogether. Both these numbers have nearly doubled since the previous year.

Businesses have been most concerned about the lack of stability of the Dutch government, as well as the increasing regulatory burden, shortage of personnel and taxes. This has led to a decline in investments, as approximately 25 percent of entrepreneurs have decided not to invest in the Netherlands in the next year.

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Simone Jacobs


Simone Jacobs

Simone is originally from South Africa, where she studied Genetics and Zoology. She enjoys reading, hiking and animal training.

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Mandoist 18:50 | 5 March 2024

After 14 years living in the "Groene Hart" of Alphen aan den Rijn region I have become less inclined to stay here. In a country which is no longer the "tolerant society" it once was, I find more and more negativity every day. On a personal basis, I am an ex-Pat American and have been discriminated from Day One in the job market due to age; regardless of my still young looking body mass and strength. I am now retired having given-up on any solid employment. Cities don't want me living there (A'dam and its goofy Mayor for one). IND has been riding me hard for 5 years to not renew my verblijfsdocument (separated after 10 years from my Dutch partner, we have an autistic son). In my opinion, far too many asylum seekers and hangers-on siphoning Social Services, causing way too much housing construction and "temporary" (permanent) "container-like eyesores, violence, etc., It's all getting to be too much. I hate cities and have tolerated them. It's depressing here in the West as I have witnessed the slow deterioration of the "Groene Hart" as it has dwindled in size. The Groene Hart is having a serious heart attack! Americans and Canadians are choosing other European countries for travel and stay. At least those I know. At this point, I am only here for three reasons; my autistic son first & foremost, absolutely no interest to return to the USA, and have hopes of soon relocating near the Veluwe for some relative peace & quiet (hopefully no violence). Sorry for the rant. But I believe the government is not paying attention to the proverbial 'writing on the wall'. It's a damn shame, too, because the Netherlands I knew in the late 1970's until 90's was an amazing place to be.