COVID-19 impact on labour and income

How is the labour participation rate developing?

The share of people aged 15 to 74 years with paid work rose slightly in June to 68.0 percent. It stood at 67.7 percent in May. Labour participation was still peaking in January and February 2020 at 69.3 percent. Read more


How much did labour participation decline per age group?

In February 2020, the total number of people in paid work fell by 156 thousand. The decline was particularly severe among the younger labour force (under 25 years): from 1.4 million in February, it was below 1.3 million in June (a decline of 107 thousand). The decline was relatively minor in the older age groups. Read more



How many job losses were recorded in July?

In July 2020, there were 278 thousand unemployed people who were still in paid work three months previously. There were fewer job losses in January and February (259 thousand people). Of those who lost their job in July, 175 thousand entered the inactive labour force, while 103 thousand entered the unemployed labour force. In January and February, the number of unemployed who were still in paid work three months previously was less than 60 thousand. Read more




How many people were unemployed in July?

In July 2020, unemployment stood at 419 thousand, equivalent to 4.5 percent of the labour force. Unemployment has risen by an average of 35 thousand per month over the past three months. The unemployment figure includes all 15 to 74-year-olds who do not have paid work but who have been looking for paid work recently and who are immediately available. The decline in the number of employed only partially leads to more unemployment. Those out of work include people who do not belong to the labour force, because they are neither looking nor available for work. Read more




How many more unemployment (WW) benefits?

The number of current WW benefits in July remained the same compared to June. At the end of July, UWV provided 301 thousand unemployment benefits. After a sharp increase between March and May, the number of WW benefits remained stable for a second consecutive month. However, in July 61 thousand more WW benefits were provided compared to last February. Read more

What is the decline in the number of jobs?

In Q2 2020, there were 322 thousand fewer jobs than in the previous quarter, a decrease of 3.0 percent. The number of employee jobs fell by 334 thousand (-3.9 percent). The number of jobs of self-employed increased by 12 thousand to 2,306 thousand. This is a smaller growth than in the first quarter (21 thousand).



What is the decline in the number of hours worked?

Due to government support measures, job losses have remained relatively limited. However, considerably fewer hours were worked than usual in these jobs. Adjusted for seasonal effects, the actual number of hours worked in the second quarter was 6.1 percent lower than in the first quarter. In Q1, the number of hours worked had already dropped as well, by 1.4 percent.

What is the decline in the number of vacancies?

At the end of the second quarter, there were 26 thousand fewer job vacancies than in the previous quarter. In a span of six months, the number of job vacancies declined by 30 percent. Compared to the end of 2019, the number of job vacancies declined in all sectors. In the first half of 2020, the decrease was most substantial in the trade sector (20 thousand fewer job vacancies than at the end of 2019), followed by accommodation and food services (-14 thousand) and business services (-13 thousand). In relative terms, the number of job vacancies declined most rapidly in the accommodation and food services sector (-59 percent). In the sectors transport and storage, culture, recreation and other services, the number of job vacancies halved as well.

What is the decline in the number of flex workers?

In Q2 2020, 1.7 million employees had a flexible employment relationship. That is 272 thousand fewer than in Q2 2019. From the first to the second quarter of 2020, the number of flex workers fell by 119 thousand. This decrease was largely related to flex workers who had been employed for less than half a year.

In which occupational group was telecommuting most prevalent in Q2 2020?

In Q2 2020, (partial) telecommuting was most prevalent among employees with ICT occupations. Relative to Q1, the share of ICT professionals working from home doubled, exceeding 40 percent; this was the largest increase among all occupational groups. At the highest skill level in particular, all or part of the job activity was performed remotely.

What are the characteristics of persons who receive benefits under the Tozo (Temporary bridging scheme for self-employed professionals)?

A large part of the people who received living allowances were between 45 and the pension entitlement age (52 percent) or were between 27 and 45 years old (41 percent). These are benefits in the context of Tozo (Temporary bridging scheme for self-employed professionals), of which a small part are registered as general benefits under the Assistance (Self-employed Persons) Decree (Bbz). Slightly more men than women received a living allowance; three-quarters were of Dutch origin and the vast majority belonged to a multi-person household (83 percent). Nearly half of the businesses of people on Tozo or Bbz benefits were classified under other services (16 percent), specialised business services (15 percent) and trade (13 percent). These figures are provisional and underestimate the actual numbers of Tozo and Bbz benefits, as figures from several large municipalities are missing.

How many benefits were granted to self-employed by municipalities as part of Tozo?

In March, municipalities provided around 7,000 benefits to self-employed to cover living expenses. These were mainly benefits in the framework of the new Tozo measure. They have partly been registered under the general Social Assistance (Self-employed Persons) Decree (Bbz) as a result of rapid implementation of the measure. The April figure will undoubtedly turn out higher. According to estimates by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, approximately 343,000 applications were submitted up to and including 29 April.

How is the real disposable income of households developing?

In Q1 2020, real disposable household income was 1.6 percent up on one year previously. As such, it remained at a similar level, despite the coronavirus crisis which started in March. Partly due to the substantial drop in consumer spending from March onwards, savings rose. Household savings were up by 4.2 billion euros compared to the same quarter last year.

How many people have had to withdraw from their savings?

In April and May 2020, during the coronavirus crisis, 3 out of every 100 people indicated that they were in debt and 9 out of every 100 reported that their household had to withdraw from their savings. This is comparable to 2019. At the time, 3 out of every 100 people said their household had to resort to debts and 11 out of every 100 said they had to use their savings.

What is the average COVID-19 reimbursement for childcare benefit recipients?

During the (partial) closure of childcare for 12 weeks in the spring of 2020, 570 thousand parents received over 1.3 thousand euros on average in childcare benefits. The remaining 28 percent was paid by the parents themselves, equivalent to an average contribution of 500 euros. Parents who continued paying this contribution receive a full reimbursement from central government.

What is the effect of the loss of self-employed income?

For 19 percent of the self-employed, the household's remaining financial resources fall below the minimum wage threshold if the self-employed income is lost for three months. As soon as the income of the self-employed is lost for one year, this share rises to 35 percent. This is shown by a model-based calculation of the loss of income of the self-employed based on data from the Integral Income and Wealth System (IIVS) 2018. This calculation was made in response to the coronavirus crisis.

How many men and women are working in affected sectors?

In December 2019, altogether 1.1 men as well as 1.1 million women were working in sectors which qualify for government support in accordance with the so-called TOGS measure (reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors).

What is the size of the financial buffer for most self-employed entrepreneurs?

In 2019, 20 percent of Dutch self-employed entrepreneurs said they would be able to make ends meet for an estimated three months in the absence of revenues from their own company. Nearly 40 percent said they could probably survive for 12 months or more. Self-employed active in transportation and logistics were most likely to indicate a maximum length of time of 3 months without company revenue (30 percent).

How many seasonal workers are employed in the agricultural sector?

In 2019, there were nearly 30 thousand full-time jobs on the basis of fixed-term contracts for specific or occasional work. In many cases, this was seasonal work. The total volume of labour deployed in the Dutch agricultural sector was equivalent to over 156 thousand full-time jobs (FTEs). Read more

Which agricultural sector employs the highest number of seasonal workers?

The majority of the non-regular labour force - often seasonal workers - were active in horticulture. Within the horticultural sector, the seasonal workforce was largest at greenhouse vegetable farms. This workforce was larger than the number of regularly employed workers. Nearly 60 percent of the labour input consisted of seasonal workers. These include students who help pick tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, but also temporary migrant workers. Read more

How many precarious workers are there in the Netherlands?

In 2019, 72.3 percent of all flex workers had less secure employment, equivalent to 1,391 thousand flex workers. These are employees with short-term temporary contracts, temporary agency contracts, on-call contracts or variable hours, who are at greater risk of losing their jobs and income when the business where they work is in worse shape than other temporary workers.

How many key workers are there in the Netherlands?

In Q4 2019, an estimated 3.1 million people in the employed labour force of 9.0 million were working in vital occupations. The majority of key workers are found in the care and welfare sector (1.3 million). Another 460 thousand worked in education or childcare. Read more

How many people usually work from home?

In 2019, there were 3.5 million people in paid employment who (usually or incidentally) worked from home. They represent 39 percent of the active labour force. Of these (incidental) home-based workers, approximately 1.3 million usually worked from home, while 2.4 million did so incidentally.

Which business sectors tend to have many home-based workers?

There are five sectors with a share of (incidental) home-based workers that exceeds 60 percent: information and communication, education, financial services, specialised business services, and energy.

How many residents of Belgium and Germany are employed in the Netherlands?

In 2017, altogether nearly 80 thousand residents of Germany and Belgium were employed in the Netherlands. This number includes almost 39 thousand from Belgium and 40 thousand from Germany. Most of them are Dutch people who moved across the border but retained their work in the Netherlands. Read more

How many Dutch residents work in Belgium or Germany?

In 2017, altogether over 22 thousand Dutch residents were employed in either Belgium or Germany. These include almost 13 thousand people working in Belgium and 9.5 thousand working in Germany. Read more

How many people work in culture, sports and recreation?

In 2018, 174 thousand people were working in the culture, sports and recreation sector. This is 1.9 percent of the employed persons in all economic activities.