Slight increase in job numbers

In the third quarter of 2005 the number of jobs was slightly higher than in the second quarter. The seasonally corrected figures show an increase of 7 thousand jobs of employees. This means a continuation of the modest recovery of employment. The wage costs per fulltime equivalent job were 2.2 percent higher in the third quarter of 2005 than in the same quarter of 2004 according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands.

Job losses over

For the second time since the start of 2003 the number of jobs has increased slightly, quarter on quarter, this time by 7 thousand jobs. In the course of 2003 quarterly job losses averaged 40 thousand. Since then job losses were reduced to 12 thousand in the first quarter of 2005, followed by a modest rise in the second and third quarter. Seasonal effects may greatly influence employment. Therefore we use seasonally corrected quarterly figures to show short-term developments.

More private sector jobs for the first time in four years

The number of private sector jobs has increased slightly for the first time since the third quarter of 2001. In recent years there has been a widening gap in employment trends between the private and the public sectors (government, education and care). In the private sector the job losses started as early as 2002, increased in 2003 and started falling in 2004. Employment in the public sector boomed in 2002 and levelled off in the following years.

More work in business services and care

The modest increase in employment in the third quarter is due to business services and health care. The other branches of industry show negative growth or stabilisation.

The increase in business services mainly comes from more temporary work. Employment is also improving in computer service bureaus, advertising agencies and economic services. In the public sector the increase in entirely due to health care and care. Employment in ecucation is virtually stable while jobs are steadily disappearing in the general services of government.

More women at work

Compared to the third quarter of 2004 the number of jobs in the third quarter of 2005 was still down by 11 thousand, but there is a clear improvement in the job market in the year-on-year comparisons. There were 22 thousand more women in jobs than in 2004. The number of jobs occupied by men was still down by 33 thousand, but here the decrease is levelling off as well.

Wage cost increase of 2.2 percent

The wage costs per fte were 2.2 percent higher in the third quarter of 2005 than in the same quarter of 2004. This is more than the increase for collective (CAO) wages, which amounted to 1.0 percent. The difference is partly due to higher pension premiums paid by employers. It was the lowest rise in wage costs since 1997.

Remarkeably the CAO wage increase recovered slightly after its lowest point of 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2005. The rise in wage costs in the third quarter of 2005 is different for the various branches of industry. The largest, 2.9 percent, increase in wage costs were in manufacturing and construction; the lowest in education with only 0.7 percent.