Number of vacancies slightly down

·         Number of vacancies remains high

·         Fall mainly in commercial services, especially banks

·         Labour market less dynamic

The number of job vacancies fell slightly in the first quarter of 2008. After correction for seasonal effects, there were 242 thousand job vacancies at the end of March 2008. This is 7 thousand fewer than in the previous quarter. New figures from Statistics Netherlands show that the dynamics on the labour market are lower. 

The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands reached a new record at the end of September 2007: 253 thousand. This was nearly three times the number at the low point in September 2003. Since hitting the record level, the number has been falling by nearly 6 thousand per quarter. The number thus remains high. 

The fall in the first quarter of 2008 was mainly in commercial services. The number of vacancies fell by 9 thousand to 135 thousand. This sector includes trade, business services and financial institutions. Banks accounted for an important part of the decrease. Non-commercial services was the only sector where the number of vacancies rose. At the end of March this sector had  56 thousand vacancies, 3 thousand more than in the previous quarter. Non-commercial services include public administration, education, care and culture. 

The labour market has become less dynamic. This is reflected in the number of new and filled vacancies. In the first quarter of 2008, 275 jobs became vacant – not corrected for seasonal effects. This is 18 thousand fewer than one year previously.  At the other end of the market, 266 thousand vacancies were filled, 9 thousand fewer than twelve months previously. It is the first time in four years that the dynamics on the labour market were lower than twelve months previously.

The numbers of vacancies in the period December 2006 – December 2007 have been revised as a result of an adjustment in the number of companies with employees for this period.