There were 18 thousand more jobs in the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of 2005 than in the same quarter in 2004. This increase follows a decrease in employment which lasted for some two and a half years.
The first time the number of employee jobs fell was in the second quarter of 2003. The fall in the number of jobs was greatest (1.8 percent) at the beginning of 2004. In subsequent quarters the decrease slowed down, to reach 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2005. In the fourth quarter it turned around, and the number of jobs grew by 0.2 percent. The turnaround was caused by the recovery of employment in the business sector, especially by the increase in temporary jobs.
Labour productivity, the volume of production per working year, was on the whole about 1.5 percent higher in 2005 than in 2004. This increase was smaller than in 2004, the first year of economic recovery.