Employment at municipalities past its peak

Local government employment fell to 236 thousand jobs in 2004, over 5.5 thousand fewer than in 2003. This decrease put an end to an increase in jobs that had lasted for a number years. Local authorities include municipalities, provinces, water boards and public bodies which operate on behalf of several municipalities.

Privatisation accounts for half of job losses

The total number of jobs in local government fell by just over 2 percent in 2004. Municipalities provide more than four-fifths of local government employment. Municipal employment decreased by more, namely 2.6 percent. About half of this decrease was caused by privatisation.

Jobs in local government, 2004

Employees ageing

The average age of local government employees rose from 43.3 years in 2003 to 44 years in 2004. The increase in age is largest for water board employees, where it rose by one year in the space of four years. Workers for provincial authorities were the oldest on average, at 45 years. The average age of all employees in the Netherlands is 38.1 years.

Average age by sector of local government

Smaller increase in contractual wages

The average contractual wages in local government rose every year between 2000 and 2004.  The largest increase was in 2002, when local government wages rose by an average 5 percent. Since then the increase has slowed down: it was 2.8 percent in 2003 and only 2 percent tin 2004.

Contractual wages in local government

More part-time jobs

In the period 2000-2004 the share of part-time work in local government rose from 36 to nearly 40 percent. The share is smallest for water boards: 29 percent in 2004. For public bodies working on behalf of several municipalities it rose from 42 percent tin 2000 to over 48 percent in 2004.

Antwan Vos