Substantial drop in vacancies

13/08/2009 15:00
  • 25 thousand vacancies less
  • 127 thousand vacancies still unfilled
  • Vacancy rate much lower
  • Few new vacancies

The number of unfilled vacancies again saw a substantial drop in the second quarter of 2009. Corrected for seasonal influences, there were 127 thousand unfilled vacancies by the end of June 2009. This is down 25 thousand on the previous quarter. The private sector in particular had fewer vacancies, according to the latest figures of Statistics Netherlands. Still, the number of vacancies was still above the 2003 low when there were 90 thousand unfilled vacancies. The vacancy rate also dipped as a result of the low number of vacancies. This decrease in vacancies is mainly due to the virtual lack of new vacancies.

At the end of September 2007 the number of unfilled vacancies reached a record high of 253 thousand. The number of vacancies stayed at this high level of over 240 thousand for an entire year. The turning point came in the fourth quarter of 2008. Within three quarters the total number of vacancies fell by 120 thousand. The rate with which the vacancy numbers fell did slow down in the last quarter though.

The number of vacancies fell in almost all sectors of the Dutch economy. The largest dip was in commercial services, which tends to have half of the number of vacancies. The number of vacancies in this sector fell from 79 to 63 thousand. Commercial services include trade and business services. In industry and construction and non-commercial services the number of vacancies fell by 5 thousand each. Non-commercial services comprise government, education, health care and social work, and culture.

The dip in the number of vacancies led to a lower vacancy rate. At the end of June 2009 there were on average 17 vacancies per thousand jobs. A year earlier there were still 32. The vacancy rate fell sharply in construction. At the end of June 2009 the vacancy rate there was 17, compared to 49 the year before.

In the second quarter of 2009 some 185 thousand new vacancies were created, down 102 thousand on the year before. This means that the number of new vacancies is approaching the low of six years ago. The number of vacancies filled in the second quarter of 2009 was 202 thousand, down 79 thousand on the previous year.

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