More jobs in fourth quarter 2005

There were slightly more jobs in the fourth quarter of 2005 than in the third quarter. After corrections for seasonal effects the number of employee jobs rose by 9 thousand. This continues the slight recovery in employment in the course of 2005. For the first time in two and a half years, there are now more jobs than twelve months previously.

The wage costs per labour-year were 2.3 percent higher in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Jobs continue to rise

There were 9 thousand more jobs in the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of 2005 than in the previous quarter. This is the third quarter in a row that the number of jobs rose slightly. In the preceding two years it fell each quarter compared with the previous quarter.  In the course of 2003 the number of jobs decreased by 40 thousand per quarter. Subsequently the fall slowed to 11 thousand in the first quarter of 2005. As seasonal effects may have a large influence on the course of employment, for a more reliable picture of short-term developments the seasonally adjusted quarterly figures are used.

More work in business services and care sectors

The increase in jobs in the fourth quarter was based mainly on more employment in business services and the care sector. In other sectors the number of jobs decreased or remained stable.

The increase in employment in business services is largely the result of more temp jobs, but in computer services, advertising agencies and economic services, too, more jobs became available.  In the collective sector the growth was entirely in the care and welfare sector. Employment in education remained fairly stable, in public administration it was steadily reduced.

More jobs than one year previously

Compared with one year ago, there were 11 thousand more jobs in the fourth quarter of 2005. This is the first time since the first quarter of 2003 that there were also more jobs in the year-on year comparisons. In this case, too, the growth was in jobs in commercial services and care, with 49 and 25 thousand jobs respectively. Most jobs were lost in the manufacturing industry and public administration: 20 thousand and 11 thousand respectively.

32 thousand more women had a job, and only 21 thousand more men. The decrease in the number of working men is levelling out, however.

Wage costs rise by 2.3 percent

Wage costs per labour-year were 2.3 percent higher in the fourth quarter than in the same quarter of 2004. The annual figure for 2005 is also 2.3 percent higher than for 2004. This is the smallest increase in wage costs since 1997. The increase in the fourth quarter is larger than the collectively agreed wage increase (1.0 percent). The difference is caused by incidental wage increases and higher employer-paid premiums.

Notably, the increase in collectively agreed wages was slightly larger than its lowest point of 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2005. The wage costs increase in the fourth quarter of 2005 does not differ strongly between sectors of industry. It was highest in the manufacturing industry, at 3.0 percent and lowest in education at only 1.7 percent.