More temporary workers from Poland

More and more people from EU member states in eastern Europe - especially Poland - are coming to the Netherlands for temporary work. In 2004, 70 thousand people who lived in Poland worked in the Netherlands for part of the year. They were often recruited through temp agencies.

Three times as many jobs as in 2000

The number of Poles working temporarily in the Netherlands has been growing since 2000. These are people who live in Poland, stay in the Netherlands for a while and are not registered as resident in a Dutch municipality.

In 2004 some 70 thousand Polish workers worked in the Netherlands. More than one quarter had several short-term jobs. The total number of jobs of these Polish workers in 2004 was nearly 100 thousand, three times the number in 2000. One in three workers was a woman.

Jobs of workers living in Poland

Temp agencies recruit foreign workers

Most temporary workers from Poland get their jobs through temp agencies. In 2004 there were more than 60 thousand of these temporary jobs, four times as many as in 2000. The recruitment and mediation were often done by specialised temp agencies. The average temporary jobs lasted for about three months.

Two out of three Poles who did not work via a temp agency were employed in agriculture. They had a total 20 thousand jobs in 2004, for about two months on average.

More permanent workers from eastern Europe too

In addition to temporary workers, more people from the new member countries have settled permanently n the Netherlands. This group is also growing. In 2004 it consisted of 14 thousand workers, 10 thousand of whom were born in Poland, 2 thousand in former Czechoslovakia and about 1.6 thousand in Hungary. Many of these – two-thirds- were women.

Most workers from eastern Europe who live in the Netherlands for a longer period work in the services sector:  in health care, trade and business services, for example. This group is not characterised by a strong concentration in agriculture or a large proportion of temporary workers. 

Labour migrants from eastern Europe by sector of employment, September 2004

André Corpeleijn