Job growth continues into fourth quarter 2008

  • Job growth 108 thousand jobs relative to one year ago
  •  job growth continues in fourth quarter
  • increase wage costs reduced to 2.8 percent
  • large differences wage costs per sector

According to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands, the number of jobs of employees grew by 108 thousand in the fourth quarter of last year relative to the same quarter of 2007. Employment also grew relative to the third quarter. If the effects of seasonal variation are taken into account, employment increased by 33 thousand jobs in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the third preceding quarter. Wage costs per labour year were 2.8 percent up on one year previously.

The number of jobs in the fourth quarter was 1.4 percent up on one year ago. The increase is more or less the same as in the third quarter, but distinctly down on the first half of 2008, when a growth of over 2 percent was recorded. The number of jobs grew most rapidly in the sectors trade, education, culture and care. Growth was also substantial in the sector business services, despite the declining number of temp jobs. Employment was also reduced in the financial sector. So far, the recession has not led to loss of jobs in the fourth quarter of 2008. Employment in the Netherlands has as yet hardly been affected by the economic downturn.

Wages of employees per labour year were 2.1 percent higher in the fourth quarter than in the latst quarter of 2007. The increase is considerably lower than the increase in collectively negotiated (CAO) wages by 3.6 percent in the same period and markedly down on the increase in the preceding quarters. The wage increase in the CAO sector (government, education, care) was, however, far above the average of 2.1 percent. This is mainly due to payment of higher end-of-year bonuses. In the private sector, the wage increase was below the level of the nationwide average. This is predominantly caused by the fact that in the fourth quarter of 2008, fewer incidental bonuses were paid than in the fourth quarter of 2007. The number of special allowances paid in that period also appears to be lower. With 2.8 percent, wage costs per labour year rose more rapidly than wages. This was caused by higher employer contributions to health insurance, unemployment and disability provisions.

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