Providers of business services increasingly hampered by shortage of manpower

Business service providers realised a turnover growth of 10 percent in 2007. For the second consecutive year, they achieved good results and the mood is still optimistic, though marginally levelling off in the latter half of 2007. Business service providers are increasingly hampered by a shortage of manpower.

Turnover growth marginally levelling off in latter half of 2007

Turnover growth business service providers, 2007

With a 10 percent turnover growth, 2007 was a successful year for business service providers. Turnover growth in the latter half of 2007 was marginally below the level of the first two quarters. Temp agencies, computer service providers and providers of economic services were the largest contributors to turnover growth. Advertising agencies, on the other hand, faced a turnover decline of 1 percent at the end of the year. In 2006, they also performed poorly relative to other service providers, although they managed to realise a modest 0.4 percent turnover growth.

Opinions on economic climate and manpower shortage

Opinions on economic climate and manpower shortage

Mood very optimistic, but manpower shortage poses serious problem

Last year, the mood among service providers was excellent. The indicators reflecting their opinions on the economic climate and the number of orders received peaked in the first half of 2007, but subsequently declined gradually.
In the course of 2007, they indicated that expansion of their business activities was increasingly stymied by the shortage of manpower. Early 2006, approximately 15 percent indicated that the manpower shortage had a negative effect on their business activities. In the latter half of 2007, this had risen to 40 percent. More than half of temp agencies and providers of computer services indicated they felt hampered by the shortage of skilled staff.

Continuous demand for staff

The number of unfilled vacancies among business service providers continued to grow last year. By the end of last year, 48 thousand vacancies were unfilled, an increase by 5 thousand compared to one year previously.
Providers of business services contributed substantially to employment growth in 2007. With 193 thousand new vacancies, they accounted for more than 18 percent of the total vacancy increase. In 2006, the number of new vacancies was even higher (199 thousand).

Paul Ras and Sidney Vergouw