Job vacancies down slightly

The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands fell slightly in the first quarter of 2007. After correction for seasonal effects, there were 212 thousand vacancies at the end of March 2007. This is 10 thousand fewer than in the previous quarter, according to figures form Statistics Netherlands.

Decrease follows period of growth

The sight decrease follows a period of more than three years in which the number of vacancies rose almost continually. Between September 2003 and the end of December 2006 the number of job vacancies rose from 90 thousand to 222 thousand. On average the number of vacancies rose by 10 thousand per quarter. It is too early to conclude that the decrease in the first quarter of this year can be seen as a turning point.

Decrease mainly in commercial services

In the first quarter of 2007, the number of vacancies fell in commercial services in particular. This sector, which normally accounts for more than half of the total number of vacancies, includes trade, financial institutions and business services. At the end of March 2007 there were 122 thousand vacancies, 8 thousand fewer than one quarter previously. The number of vacancies fell hardly or not at all in other sectors of the economy.

Increased dynamics for over three years now

No decrease in the number of vacancies can be seen from year to year. The dynamics on the labour market have been consistently greater than twelve months previously for three years now. This is evident form the numbers of new vacancies and vacancies filled. In the first quarter of 2007 there were 272 thousand new vacancies, 20 thousand more than twelve months previously. The number of vacancies filled was 257 thousand, 33 thousand more than in the same period last year.