The increase in the potential labour force in the Netherlands in the coming years will consist mainly of non-western foreigners. After 2010 the number of native Dutch people in the labour force will decrease, while the number of foreigners will continue to rise. The size of the potential labour force will thus remain stable. The share of non-western foreigners in the age group 15-64 years will increase in the period 2003-2020, from 10 to 16 percent.
Potential labour force stable after 2010
The potential labour force will rise from 10.9 to 11.1 million people between 2003 and 2010, and will subsequently remain stable. The number of native Dutch people in this group will remain fairly constant up to 2010 with 8.8 million. After that it will fall to 8.3 million in 2020. The number of non-western foreigners in the labour force will grow from 1.1 million in 2003 to 1.8 million in 2020.
Potential labour force by origin
Shift from young to older
The share of young people in the potential labour force has diminished in recent years, while the share of older people has increased. Between 1996 and 2003 the number of people aged 15-29 years fell from 3.3 to 3.0 million, while the number of 50-64 year-olds rose from 2.4 to 2.9 million.
More younger people again in coming years
In the next few years the number of young people in the potential labour force will start to increase again, to 3.2 million in 2020. This growth will take place among non-western foreigners in particular, while for native Dutch people the number will remain about the same. The number of non-western foreigners aged 15-29 years will increase from 450 thousand today to 650 thousand in 2020.
Number of 15-29-year olds by origin
Strong decrease expected for 30-49 year-olds
Labour participation is highest among 30-49 year-olds. In the last few years the number in this age group increased slightly. In the coming years the number of 30-49 year-olds will drop sharply, from 5.1 million now to 4.3 million in 2020. This fall will occur mainly among the Dutch native population. The number of non-western foreigners in this age group will continue to grow.
Development 2003-2020 by age and origin
Many more older people in coming years
The number of 50-64 year-olds will increase strongly in the coming decades, from 2.9 million today to 3.6 million in 2020.
The contribution by non-western foreigners to this growth is limited: from 140 thousand now to 350 thousand in 2020.
Andries de Jong