Job vacancies stable at high level

After correction for seasonal effects, figures released today by Statistics  Netherlands put the number of job vacancies in the first quarter of 2006 at 172 thousand. This is about the same number as in the previous quarter. For the eighth time in succession more new vacancies were created than twelve months previously; more vacancies were also filled.

Vacancies at the same level for three quarters now

The number of job vacancies nearly doubled in the two years between September 2003 and September 2005, rising from 92 thousand to 173 thousand. Since then it has remained fairly stable. For three quarters now the number of vacancies has been just over 170 thousand.

Only in manufacturing and construction was a clear increase visible. At the end of March 2006, there were 29 thousand vacancies in this sector, 2 thousand more than in the previous quarter. 

High vacancy rate

Compared with twelve months previously, there were 31 thousand more vacancies. The vacancy rate was higher than twelve months previously for the eighth quarter in a row. The vacancy rate is the number of vacant jobs per thousand jobs, and is a measure for labour market shortage. At the end of March 2006 there were 27 vacancies per thousand jobs. This is 4 more than twelve months previously. The shortage was highest in the hotel and restaurant, financial institutions and business services sectors. There were 45 vacancies per thousand jobs in these sectors. 

More new and filled vacancies

For the eighth quarter in a row the labour market was more dynamic than the same quarter in the previous year. This is apparent from the number of new and the number of filled vacancies. In the first quarter of 2006, there were 252 thousand new vacancies. This is 35 thousand more than in the same quarter last year. The number of vacancies filled was 224 thousand, 41 thousand more than one year previously.