Surge in collective sector jobs comes to an end

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 1.1 million 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 collective sector jobs on the other. The end of this 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 in 2001-2003: 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 months previously, 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 did increase 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 constantly in 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 in 2004. In education the number of jobs increased by an average 9 thousand a yearsince 1998. In public administration the number of jobs is distorted some what by the abolition of conscription in the Netherlands. Excluding conscripts, the number of jobs in public administration rose by around 100 thousand between 1990 and 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 benefited most from the increase in employment in the collective sector.

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

Hans Langenberg