Record number of unfilled job vacancies

With 219 thousand, the seasonally corrected amount of unfilled job vacancies in the Netherlands hit a record high at the end of September 2006. The number of job vacancies also peaked at the end of 2000. In the third quarter of 2006, the amount of vacancies increased across all sectors, according to figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

Considerable increase in third quarter

In the third quarter of 2006, the number of job vacancies increased by 30 thousand. The sharpest increases were recorded in manufacturing industry, construction and business services. In manufacturing industry and construction, vacancies rose by one third to 40 thousand. In the sector business services, the vacancy rate increased by over 20 percent. This sector employs lawyers, auditors and ICT specialists.

After the previous record, set at the end of 2000, the number of vacancies declined and reached a low point in the third quarter of 2003, when it stood at 92 thousand. Subsequently, it has risen almost continuously, on average by 11 thousand per quarter.

Active labour market

In the third quarter of 2006, the labour market was very active. This becomes apparent in the numbers of new and filled vacancies. The numbers have not been adjusted for seasonal effects. In the third quarter, 264 thousand new vacancies were registered, an increase by 36 thousand compared to one year previously. The number of filled vacancies stood at an unprecedented 274 thousand.

High job vacancy rate

Each quarter, the job vacancy rate is higher than one year previously. This situation has continued for 30 months now. Job vacancy rate is defined as the number of vacancies per one thousand jobs. It is indicative of the degree of tightness on the labour market. At the end of September 2006, there were 29 vacancies in every one thousand jobs, 7 more than a year ago. In nearly all sectors, the vacancy rate was higher than twelve months ago. The demand for new staff was highest in the sectors construction, hotels and restaurants and business services. The sector hotels and restaurants offers mainly short-term employment contracts.