Substantial job increase in first quarter 2006

07/07/2006 09:30

In the first quarter of 2006 there were 35 thousand more jobs than in the last quarter of 2005. This is the seasonally corrected figure. It was the fourth quarter in a row with job increases. The growth rate in jobs in the first quarter of 2006 was more than twice as high as in the preceding quarters.

The labour costs per year were up by 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2006 compared to a year earlier. Reduced social security contributions by employers kept the increase in labour costs down, according to the latest figures by statistics Netherlands.

More work with temp agencies and in care

In the first quarter of 2006 there were 77 thousand more jobs that the year before. Most of the growth took place in business services and in care. The economic recovery leads to many extra jobs, which many employers fill with staff from temp agencies. But also other business services, such as ICT are employing more people. Care stays the main jobs motor. Job losses are decreasing in industry and construction, but are continuing in government. The seasonally corrected figure shows that employment in construction is again increasing this quarter.

More men at work

In the last twelve months the number of male employees increased by 27 thousand. For the first time in four years there are more men in jobs than the year before. In the three previous years their number had fallen by over 180 thousand. The number of female employees increased by 50 thousand over the previous twelve months. Women performed better than men over the last few years due to their increasing participation in the work process.

Lower social security contributions payable by employers keep labour costs down

The labour costs per fte were up by 1.0 percent in the first quarter than in the same quarter of 2005. This makes the rise in labour costs the lowest since 1996. The increase in collective (CAO) wages in the first quarter increased to 1.8 percent. The cause of these different developments lies in the decrease of the social security premiums payable by the employer. Employers paid less for (pre)pension and disablement provisions. 

The rise in labour costs in the first quarter of 2006 was highest in the trade and transport sector (1.5 percent) and lowest in education (0.1 percent).

Modest adjustments of jobs and wages 2003, 2004 and 2005

As is the case each year in July, Statistics Netherlands adjusts the figures of the previous three years on the basis of more and more reliable information. This has now happened for 2003, 2004 and 2005. The overall picture does not change for the job market. The decreases in the number of jobs in 2004 and 2005 were slightly lower than previously estimated. Because the share of part-time jobs increased slightly more in all years, the number of fte’s falls by a little more in 2003. Labour productivity turns out to be higher.