In the third quarter of 2006 there were 110 thousand more jobs for employees in the Netherlands than in the same quarter last year. This 1.5 percent increase is clearly larger than in preceding quarters, but not as large as in the second half of the nineties.
The wage costs per labour-year were 1.3 percent higher than one year previously. The wage costs rose more quickly than in the first half of 2006, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.
More jobs in business services and temp agencies
By far most jobs (91 thousand) were created in the business services sector. Many jobs in this sector were temp agency jobs. Now that the economy is picking up many extra jobs are becoming available and these are filled, sometimes temporarily, by agency workers . These jobs are measured at the agencies, while the workers work in other sectors. One in five agency workers, for example, work in manufacturing, and one in nine in the transport sector.
Other business services have also recruited more staff: ICT companies, accountant’s and solicitor’s offices, engineering bureaux and advertising agencies, for example. The number of jobs in these branches has also been growing since the beginning of 2006. The care sector remains the driving force behind jobs growth, with 22 thousand extra jobs. On the other hand in manufacturing, the government sector and especially the transport sector, jobs are disappearing.
Quarterly job growth up to 38 thousand
A clear seasonal pattern can be distinguished in numbers of jobs. After correction for this, the number of jobs of employees was 38 thousand higher than in the second quarter of 2006. This is the largest increase since the second quarter of 2005, when job losses came to an end. Employment has now been increasing for six quarters in succession.
Wage costs increase starts to rise
Wages and salaries per labour-year equivalent were 1.7 percent higher in the third quarter than twelve months previously. The lower employer-paid premiums for pension and pre-pension and incapacity tempered the total wage costs increase to 1.3 percent per labour-year This is clearly more than in the second quarter, when the increase was only 0.6 percent. The wage costs increase in 2006 is very low in a historical perspective because of the lower employer-paid premiums.