Few employed over-50s in large cities

In September 2003 nearly 65 percent of the 50 to 59-year-old male population of Amsterdam were employed. In Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht the employment rate among 50 to 59-year-old men was about 70 percent. The nationwide percentage is 79. High unemployment in the four largest cities accounts for the low participation rate.   

Marginal participation rate in large cities

The labour participation rate of over-50s shows wide regional and municipal differences. In the western part of the country the labour participation rate of women over the age of 50 is higher (52 percent) than nationwide (49 percent), whereas in the northern part of the country the participation rate of these women (45 percent) is below the national rate. The situation is different for men, particularly in the four largest cities, where the labour participation rate for males over 50 was 11 percentage points below the nationwide average in September 2003.

Labour participation over-50s by part of the country, September 2003

High unemployment rate, low labour participation rate

In Rotterdam the participation rate for both men and women is low in the age category 50-59. The structure of employment partly accounts for this. Rotterdam’s core activities are found in its harbour and manufacturing industry. Traditionally, these sectors employ few women workers. In Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht the structure of employment accounts for a participation rate of women over 50 slightly above the national average.

Haarlemmermeer: 85 percent of men are employed

There is considerable variation in the participation rate of people over the age of 50 across the 25 Dutch municipalities with more than 100 thousand residents. The largest differences in male participation rates are recorded in the municipalities of Haarlemmermeer and Amsterdam. In 2003 the labour participation rate for males over 50 in Haarlemmermeer was 85 percent, in Amsterdam, it was 65 percent. The participation rate for women over 50 ranged from 58 percent in Zoetermeer to 42 percent in Emmen.

Labour participation rates of over-50-s in the 25 largest municipalities, September 2003

25 largest municipalities: Zoetermeer in the lead

Zoetermeer has the highest participation rate for both males and females over 50, followed by Haarlemmermeer, Leiden and Almere. Rotterdam has the lowest participation rate for over-50s of all municipalities with a population of more than 100 thousand.

André Corpeleijn