Surge in collective sector jobs comes to an end

25/04/2005 10:00

Surge in collective sector jobs comes to an end

The number of jobs in the collective sector rose only slightly in 2004,bringing an end to the recent period of historically high job growth. The 1.1million jobs in the care sector in 2004 was one and a half times the number in1990. Women mainly benefited from the growth in employment in this sector.

More jobs in collective sector, fewer in private sector
Developments in employment in the Netherlands have been determined in recentyears by substantial job losses in the private sector on the one hand, and a strong increase in collectivesector jobs on the other. The end ofthis development seems to be approaching, however. At the end of 2004 employmentreductions in the private sector were smaller than before and hardly any morejobs were created in the collective sector.

From record increase to minimal growth
The number of jobs in the collective sector showed an unparalleled growth in2001-2003: 70 to 90 thousand jobs a year. This is the equivalent of 3 to 4percent annually. In 2004, however, growth was only slight. In the fourthquarter of 2004 there were only 4 thousand more jobs than twelve monthspreviously, the lowest growth rate since 1994.

The share of the collective sector in total employment (about one third ofall jobs) did not change essentially in the period 1990-2004, but employment didincrease constantly in this sector, while the private sector also reported joblosses.

Strongest growth in care sector
Employment in nearly all branches of the collective sector grew constantlyin the last fifteen years. The largest growth by far was in the care sector,where the number of jobs grew from around 700 thousand in 1990 to 1.1 million in2004. In education the number of jobs increased by an average 9 thousand a yearsince 1998. In public administration the number of jobs is distorted somewhat bythe abolition of conscription in the Netherlands. Excluding conscripts, thenumber of jobs in public administration rose by around 100 thousand between 1990and 2004, to 525 thousand.

Women benefit from job increase in collective sector
Nearly half of female employees in the Netherlands work in the collectivesector. For men this is one quarter. Logically, therefore, women have benefitedmost from the increase in employment in the collective sector.

The slowdown in the job increase in the collective sector has therefore hitwomen the hardest. While unemployment among men has almost stabilised, thenumber of unemployed women rose further at the beginning of 2005.

Hans Langenberg