Vacancies continue to rise

02/06/2005 09:30

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, the number of job vacancies rose further in the first quarter of 2005. At the end of March 141 thousand vacancies were open, 13 thousand more than in the previous quarter.

Growth continues

Following a decrease lasting nearly three years, the number of job vacancies has been rising continually since the fourth quarter of 2003. With the first quarter of 2005, this makes six quarters in a row. On average the increase was more than 8 thousand per quarter. In the second half of 2004 the growth abated somewhat, but it continued quite clearly with an increase of 13 thousand in the first quarter of 2005.

Main increase in commercial services

The number of job vacancies mainly increased in the commercial services sector. In this sector 85 thousand jobs were vacant in the first quarter of 2005, 10 thousand more than in the previous quarter. The number of vacancies rose by much less in agriculture, manufacturing, and non-commercial services.

Labour market more dynamic

In terms of the numbers of new and filled vacancies, the labour market was more dynamic than twelve months previously. The figures are not adjusted for seasonal effects. In the first quarter of 2005, 217 thousand jobs fell vacant, 39 thousand  more than in the same quarter last year. On the other hand, 183 thousand vacant positions were filled, 32 thousand more than in the same quarter last year.

Vacancy rate up

The vacancy rate - the number of vacancies per thousand jobs - is an indicator for the tension on the labour market. At the end of March 2005 there were 23 vacancies per 1,000 jobs. One year previously this figure was 18. The vacancy rate was higher than twelve months previously in nearly all sectors of industry. The increase was largest in commercial services and agriculture.

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