High labour participation rate, but many part-time workers in the Netherlands

31/10/2006 14:00

The percentage of people in the Netherlands with paid jobs is fairly high from an international point of view. The amount of male and female part-time workers in the Netherlands, on the other hand, is unparalleled.

Labour participation rates in other countries, 2005

Labour participation rates in other countries, 2005

Netherlands has high-ranking position in Europe

In 2005, the proportion of 15 to 64-year-olds with paid jobs stood at 73 percent. From an international perspective, the labour participation rate in the Netherlands is high. The average rate for the European Union, for instance, is 64 percent. In Europe, only Iceland, Denmark and Norway top the Dutch participation rate. The labour participation rate in the Netherlands compares to Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. With 80 percent, male labour participation in the Netherlands is among the highest in the world and only matched by the Danes. Within Europe, only Iceland has a higher participation rate. Female labour participation is also relatively high (66 percent), although some countries do better in this respect. The gap for women is much wider than for men.

Proportion of part-timers from an international perspective, 2005

Proportion of part-timers from an international perspective, 2005

Number of part-timers in the Netherlands exceptionally high

The proportion of people working in part-time jobs in the Netherlands is exceptionally high. In 2005, for example, nearly half of all people employed worked less than 35 hours a week, whereas the average for the European Union stood at 18 percent. No other country even comes close. Runner-up Norway has less than 30 percent of people working on a part-time basis.

Many women work part-time. In the Netherlands, 75 percent of all women employed worked on a part-time basis in 2005. The European Union averaged 33 percent. With 23 percent, the proportion of male part-timers was also by far the highest in the Netherlands compared to other countries.

Ingrid Beckers and Hans Langenberg