Job growth 2 percent in second quarter of 2008

  • 154 thousand extra jobs
  • highest growth in business services and trade
  • slowdown in sector hotels and restaurants and temp jobs
  • accelerated growth CAO wages
  • increase in wage costs per employee highest in four years

In the second quarter of 2008, the number of jobs of employees increased by 154 thousand (2.0 percent) relative to the same quarter last year. The increase is smaller than in record year 2007, when the job growth rate was 2.7 percent (over 200 thousand jobs). The increase is above the growth level of 2006, when the economy was also booming. In the second quarter of 2008, the number of jobs of employees passed the 8 million mark for the first time. Figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that the number of jobs has increased by 500 thousand relative to four years ago.

The highest job growth was recorded in the two sectors employing the highest number of people, i.e. business services (3.6 percent) and trade (3.2 percent). The sector care is also a major job creator. The sectors manufacturing industry and government hardly contributed to employment growth. In the sectors business services and hotels and restaurants, job growth slowed down. In business services, the growth in temp jobs also slowed down in comparison to the preceding quarters.

Costs of wages and salaries per labour year in the second quarter of 2008 were 3.9 percent up on the second quarter of 2007.  Collectively negotiated (CAO) wages have risen considerably across the board by an average of 3.4 percent. Incidental wages also rose. With 4.2 percent, wage costs per labour year rose even more rapidly in this period. This was due to higher costs for employers with respect to health care insurance, unemployment and disability contributions. The increase in wage costs is the highest in four years. The average increase by 4.2 percent is spread across various sectors. The highest increase was recorded in the construction sector, the lowest increase in the sector non-commercial services (government, education and care).