In June 2008, 94 thousand workers from EU countries in eastern Europe were working in the Netherlands. This is 60 percent more than one year previously. In the whole of the Netherlands the number of workers grew by nearly 2 percent. Most east Europeans working here are from Poland. Nearly half are younger than 30, and also nearly half work via an agency.
Workers from east European EU countries
Hefty increase in 2007
The number of workers from east European EU countries in the Netherlands rose substantially in 2007: by 43 thousand to 68 thousand at the end of 2007. Since 1 May 2007, workers from countries which entered the EU in 2004 no longer need a permit to work in the Netherlands. As some of the workers come here to do seasonal work in agriculture, the number of east European workers dropped slightly in the winter months of 2007. In the first half of 2008,it started to rise again. Their share in the total number of workers in the Netherlands is now just over 1 percent.
Most workers from Poland
Just over 85 percent of east European workers in the Netherlands have the Polish nationality. The number of Polish workers in the Netherlands rose from nearly 20 thousand at the beginning of 2007 to just over 80 thousand in June 2008. The number of Rumanian and Bulgarian workers has remained low and came to 4 thousand in June this year. As Rumania and Bulgaria entered the EU later, people from these countries still need a permit to work in the Netherlands.
Many young agency workers
Nearly half (47 percent) of east European workers work through an agency. Also nearly half are younger than 30 years. Over half (53 percent) of east European workers working in the Netherlands in June 2008 had a residential address outside the Netherlands. The remainder were living in the Netherlands.
Employment and residential situation of east European workers, June 2008
André Corpeleijn and Michiel Heerschop