Loss of jobs substantial

  • Number of jobs down by 72 thousand in the second quarter relative to one year previously
  • Substantial quarter-on-quarter loss of jobs
  • Decline in private sector, growth in public sector
  • Increase wage costs 2.6 percent
  • Actual wage increase lower than CAO wage increase

In the second quarter of this year, the number of jobs of employees declined by 72 thousand relative to the second quarter of 2008. For the first time since 2004, the number of jobs is below the level of twelve months ago. For the second time in a row, the number of jobs decreased compared to the preceding quarter. According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands, 55 thousand jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter. Wage costs per labour year were 2.6 percent higher than one year previously.

There were more than 7.9 million jobs in the second quarter, i.e. 0.9 percent down on the same period in 2008. The sector business services, where 83 thousand jobs evaporated, was hit hardest. The decline almost entirely concerns temp jobs.

Temp agencies were the first to suffer the consequences of the economic crunch. As a result, job losses in other sectors, like manufacturing industry, construction, trade, hotels and restaurants and transport were relatively low, especially in comparison to the decline in output. There is a remarkable growth by 58 thousand jobs in the public sector. The health care and welfare sector accounts for the bulk of this growth (38 thousand jobs).

The number of jobs fell by 0.7 percent relative to the first quarter. The negative job growth in the second quarter is more sizeable than in the first quarter and is the most substantial quarter-on-quarter decline ever recorded. Here, too, the private sector declines, whereas the public sector grows. Proportinally, job losses in the second quarter were much smaller than the economic contraction in the second quarter. Employment in the Netherlands responds with delay to changes in the economic situation.

Wages of employees per labour year were 2.6 percent higher in the second quarter than in the second quarter of last year. The increase is larger than in the first quarter, when wages rose by 1.7 percent. The actual wage increase by 2.6 percent is lower than the collectively negotiated (CAO) wage increase of 3.0 percent. Wage costs per labour year including employers’ contributions rose at the same rate as wages (2.6 percent). Employers’ contributions to pension schemes went up, their contributions to unemployment and health insurance went down.

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