Job growth slows in third quarter of 2008

  • 108 thousand more jobs than twelve months previously
  • hardly any job growth compared with second quarter
  • highest, but much slower, growth rate in business services and trade
  • wage costs rise by more than 4 percent

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, there were 108 thousand more jobs for employees in the Netherlands in the third quarter of 2008 than in the same quarter in 2007. This is an increase of 1.4 percent. This increase is less than in the preceding one and a half years, when growth rates were between 2 and 3 percent. The slowdown is reflected clearly in the quarter-on-quarter growth. After adjustment for seasonal effects there was hardly any growth in the number of jobs at all. This is the first time this is has happened since 2004. The main cause is the economic slowdown. The increase in wage costs per employee rose further.
Job growth was highest in the two sectors of industry with the most employees: business services (2.5 percent) and trade (2.4 percent). There was a substantial slowdown in the growth rates in these two sectors, however. In the temp agency, hotel and restaurant, agriculture and public administration sectors, the number of jobs even decreased slightly compared with the third quarter of 2007.
Employee wages per labour year were 3.7 percent higher in the third quarter of this year than twelve months previously. The largest part of this wage increase was the result of an increase in collectively agreed wage rates. These were higher across the board than in 2007. Wages costs per labour year rose by slightly more than wages: 4.4 percent . The underlying reasons for this were the higher employer-paid contributions for health insurance, unemployment and disability. This increase in  wage costs is the highest for over four years.

PDF contains complete press release.