Job vacancies up slightly

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, the number of job vacancies in the Netherlands rose slightly in the fourth quarter of 2006. After correction for seasonal effects, there were 225 thousand vacancies at the end of December. This is 6 thousand more than at the end of September 2006.

Growth down on third quarter

The number of vacancies has been rising for three years now. Since the low point of 92 thousand vacancies in the third quarter of 2003, it has grown to two and a half times this number in the space of just over three years. On average the number of vacancies rose by 10 thousand per quarter. The increase in the fourth quarter was smaller than this. In the third quarter of 2006 the increase was substantial, at 30 thousand vacancies.

Rise in non-commercial services

The number of jobs rose in non-commercial services in particular in the fourth quarter of 2006. This sector, which includes among other things public administration, culture and health care, had 50 thousand vacancies at the end of December. This is 4 thousand up on the previous quarter. In other sectors of industry, there was hardly any or no change in the number of vacancies.

Labour market dynamics remain high

The labour market dynamics were greater in the fourth quarter of 2006 than twelve months previously. This can be seen from the increase in both new and filled vacancies. In the fourth quarter of 2006 there were 246 thousand new vacancies. This is 34 thousand more than twelve months previously. The number of filled vacancies was 238 thousand, 30 thousand more than in the same period in 2005.

Vacancy rate continues to rise

The vacancy rate has been rising for nearly three years now. The vacancy rate is defined as the number of vacancies per thousand jobs, and is thus an indicator for tension on the labour market. At the end of December 2006 there were 30 vacancies per thousand jobs. This is 7 more than in December 2005. Labour was in shorter supply across all sectors of industry.