Number of vacancies again drops sharply


  • Number of vacancies again drops by nearly 50 thousand
  • 152 thousand open vacancies
  • Fewer vacancies in private sector
  • Vacancy rate substantially down
  • Number of new and filled vacancies drops dramatically

According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands, the sharp decline in the number of unfilled vacancies continued into the first quarter of 2009. Corrected for seasonal variation, there were 152 thousand vacancies in the Netherlands by the end of March 2009, a reduction by nearly 50 thousand relative to the previous quarter. Within a period of six months, the amount of vacancies was reduced by nearly 100 thousand. It mainly concerned jobs in the private sector. The shrinking number of vacancies also exerted a considerable downward effect on the vacancy rate. The decline in the number of vacancies is due to a considerable slowdown in the number of newly created vacancies.

With 253 thousand, the amount of unfilled vacancies reached a record level at the end of September 2007. Subsequently, the vacancy level was continually above 240 thousand. The downturn came in the fourth quarter of 2008. In the first quarter of 2009, the number of vacancies was 100 thousand down on the end of September 2008.

The number of vacancies dropped across the board in the first quarter. The most substantial decline occurred in the sector commercial services. In this sector, the number of vacancies dropped from 106 thousand to 79 thousand. The sector commercial services comprises trade, business services and financial institutions, e.g. banks and insurance companies. The number of vacancies was also reduced significantly in the sectors manufacturing industry and construction. By the end of March 2009, only 19 thousand vacancies were unfilled, as against 30 thousand one year previously .

The vacancy rate was also markedly reduced. At the end of March 2009, the rate averaged 19 vacancies in every one thousand jobs, as opposed to 32 one year ago. The vacancy rate dropped steeply in the sectors construction, manufacturing industry and transport and communication.

In the first quarter of 2009, the amount of new and filled vacancies dropped sharply relative to a year ago; 187 thousand new jobs were created, 88 thousand down on one year previously. This is the lowest number of new vacancies in half a decade. The number of filled vacancies (including cancelled vacancies) in the first quarter of this year stood at 221 thousand, 45 thousand fewer than a year ago. A considerable amount of vacancies (30 thousand) were cancelled. On average, the number of vacancies cancelled per quarter does not exceed 20 thousand.

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