The number of job vacancies remained high in the first quarter of 2006. After correction for seasonal effects, there were 172 thousand job vacancies at the end of March 2006. For three quarters now the number of vacancies has been just over 170 thousand.
Only in manufacturing and construction was a clear increase visible. At the end of March, there were 29 thousand vacancies in this sector, 2 thousand more than in the previous quarter. In commercial services there was a small fall.
For the eighth quarter in a row the labour market was more dynamic than the same quarter in the previous year. This is apparent from the increase in both new and filled vacancies. In the first quarter of 2006, 252 thousand jobs became vacant. This is 35 thousand more than twelve months previously. The number of vacancies filled was 41 thousand higher.
The vacancy rate is the number of vacant jobs per thousand jobs, and thus a measure for the shortage on the labour market. At the end of March 2006 there were 27 vacancies per thousand jobs, 4 more than at the end of March 2005. Vacancy rates increased in almost all sectors of industry.
Job vacancies, seasonally adjusted