Tension on the Dutch labour market remained high in 2008. The period of fast increasing labour shortage seems to be over, though, and the first signs of an increasing labour supply can be seen towards the end of the year.
According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, there were 108 thousand more jobs for employees in the Netherlands in the third quarter of 2008 than in the same quarter in 2007. This is an increase of 1.4 percent.
According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, an average 280 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in the period September–November 2008.
In September 2008, more than 161 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits were paid. The number has declined relative to the end of the last economic boom.
In the third quarter of 2008, the number of benefits paid to under-65s dropped further to 262 thousand, i.e. more than 6 thousand down on the second quarter.
In the four major Dutch cities, the labour participation rate of the male population was below the nationwide average.
Currently, more than 1 million people in the Netherlands hold a university degree. Nearly 70 thousand obtained a doctorate in the period 2004-2007.
The most recent unemployment figures show that unemployment averaged 276 thousand in the period August-October 2008, i.e. 3.6 percent of the labour force, as opposed to 4.0 percent one year previously.
In 2007, more than one million persons managed a group of at least five people, i.e. 14 percent of the employed labour force. The percentage of managers is relatively high in the categories men, older people and full-timers.
The number of women unable or not prepared to work, because they have to look after their families has almost been reduced by half from 735 thousand in 2001 to 373 thousand in 2007.
In September 2008 118 thousand people were claiming a benefit under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act (Algemene nabestaandenwet). This is 8 thousand fewer than twelve months previously.
More than 7 percent of children in the Netherlands under 18 years of age lived in a household that dependent on income support in 2007. This is a total of just over 250 thousand children.
The number of job vacancies remained high in the Netherlands in the third quarter of 2008.
By the end of August 2008, the comparatively highest number of unemployment benefits ((16 thousand in total) were paid out in the province of Limburg.
The number of people who had a job wile also providing voluntary care for a sick relative was about the same in 2007 as in 2005. Employees did take more time off to provide this care in 2007. The use of short-term care leave in particular increased.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment in the European Union was 6.9 percent in August 2008. The Netherlands had the lowest rate: 2.6 percent.
Relatively more income support claimants with under-age children participated in re-integration programmes than households without children in 2007.
The number of people in deprived dsitricts in the Netherlands claiming income support benefit for at least three years fell by relatively more in 2007 than average for the whole country.
An average 284 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in the period July-September 2008. This is the equivalent of 3.7 percent of the labour force. In the same period last year the unemployment rate was still 4.3 percent.
The average age of people employed in education was over 43 years in 2007. This makes education the ‘greyest’ sector of employment in the Netherlands.
In 2007, one in eleven (575 thousand) workers in the employed labour force worked flexible hours. The share of flex workers has risen since 2003 after years of decline, but the high level of the late 1990s has as yet not been reached.
In the second quarter of 2008, the number of jobs of employees increased by 154 thousand (2.0 percent) relative to the same quarter last year.
In the period June-August 2008, the number of unemployed persons averaged 294 thousand, i.e. 3.8 percent of the labour force, as opposed to 4.4 percent in the same period last year.
Since 2004, the proportion of employed among non-school going young people has increased. Young people with a basic qualification benefited more from the booming economy than those without a basic qualification.
In the second quarter of 2008, the number of social security benefits paid to under-65s was reduced by 2.6 thousand to 268 thousand.
In the second quarter of 2008, the employed labour force included 7.4 million persons. Employment has risen continually since the fourth quarter of 2005. The part-time labour force is growing far more rapidly than the full-time labour force.
In the period May-July 2008, unemployment averaged 308 thousand, i.e. 4.0 percent of the labour force.
The number of vacancies in the second quarter of 2008 remained high. Adjusted for seasonal variation, 240 thousand vacancies were unfilled at the end of June 2008, only 2 thousand down on the previous quarter.
In the period April-June this year, average unemployment was 310 thousand, i.e. 4.0 percent of the labour force versus 4.6 percent in the period April-June 2007.
Collectively negotiated wage rates were 3.4 percent higher in the second quarter of 2008 than twelve months previously. This increase is substantially larger than in the first quarter, when wages were 2.8 percent higher.
There were 172 thousand more employees in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2008 than in the same quarter last year. This 2.2 percent increase is high in a historical perspective, but still lower than the 2.7 percent in 2007.
Families with three or more children under 13 years of age use formal childcare provisions less often than smaller families.
In the period March-May 2008 an average of 313 thousand people was unemployed. This equals 4.1 percent of the labour force. A year earlier the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.
The entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry expect an 11 percent increase in investments on 2007.
The number of welfare benefits paid to people under 65 fell to 271 thousand in the first quarter of 2008.
The average number of unemployed stood at 326 thousand in the period February-April 2008, i.e. 4.2 percent of the Dutch labour force, as against 5.0 percent one year ago.
By the end of 2007, the municipalities of Reiderland, Pekela and Veendam in the province of Groningen had the highest proportion of young social security claimants.
The number of job vacancies fell slightly in the first quarter of 2008. After correction for seasonal effects, there were 242 thousand job vacancies at the end of March 2008.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, the employed labour force comprised 7.3 million people. Approximately 5.8 million were employed on a permanent basis, nearly 570 thousand worked flexible hours.
One in five mothers who do not work or who have a part-time job want to work for more hours a week. Their reason for not doing so is hardly ever a shortage of suitable childcare.
Unemployment has fallen dramatically in recent years. Initially, only among short-term unemployed, but in 2007 the reduction among long-term unemployed was more substantial than among short-term unemployed.
Just over half of women with under age children had a part-time job in 2007. This is more than in 2006.
About 40 percent of labour migrants, who have come to the Netherlands since 1999, leave the country within four years. The lowest and top incomes are more prone to leave the Netherlands than persons living on middle incomes.
Most employees who lose their job as a consequence of mass redundancy find work again quite quickly. However, there are large differences between groups of dismissed employees.
An average 336 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed in the period January-March 2008. This is 4.4 percent of the labour force. Twelve months previously 5.3 percent of the labour force were unemployed.
In December last year, 167 thousand young disabled received labour disablement benefits under the Disablement Provision Act for Disabled from an Early Age (Wajong), as against 155 thousand one year previously.
Collectively negotiated wage rates were 2.7 percent higher in the first quarter of 2008 than twelve months previously.
More than 300 thousand people in the Netherlands were claiming income support at the end of 2005. One in ten of them came off the benefit in the course of 2006.
There were 7.8 million paid jobs in the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of 2007. This is an increase by 170 thousand relative to one year previously.
An average 321 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed in the period December 2007- February 2008. This is the equivalent of 4.2 percent of the labour force.
The fall in unemployment among people with a non-western foreign background in the Netherlands quickened in 2007.
If the situation on the labour market deteriorates, work disabled individuals are hit harder than the population as a whole.
In 2006, 48 percent of people aged between 55 and 65 years in the Netherlands had a paid job. This is more than in 2000, when 38 percent of this group were still working.
After the birth of their first child, most mothers continue working, preferably part-time. As their children grow older, mothers rarely start working longer hours.
In 2007, the number of income support benefits declined markedly for the third year running. At the end of December, 275 thousand benefits were received, 27 thousand fewer than one year previously.
In the period November 2007-January 2008, an average of 308 thousand people were unemployed, corresponding to 4.0 percent of the labour force, as against 5.0 percent in the same period one year previously.
The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands remains high.
Last year, an average of 344 thousand people were unemployed, i.e. 69 thousand fewer than in 2006.
The increase in collectively negotiated wages (CAO) was 2.0 percent in 2007. The wage increase is the same as in 2006, although there is a difference.