The average age of the employed labour force in the Netherlands in 2008 was 40.3 years. In 2001 this was two years younger, at 38.3 years. The higher average age is the result of an increase in the number of older people combined with a rising labour participation in older age groups. Between 2001 and 2008, net labour participation among 55-64 year-olds rose from 34 to 45 percent.
Average age of employed labour force and net labour participation of 55-64 year-olds
Oldest workers in education and agriculture
The average age of the employed labour force was highest in education in 2008, just under 44 years, followed by agriculture and fishery. Workers were youngest on average in the hotel and restaurant sector, at less than 35 years. Many youngsters work in this sector. In trade and repairs and business services, too, the average age was relatively low, at 38 years.
Average age of employed labour force per sector, 2008
Average retirement age 61 years
In 2006 the average age at which workers retired was 61 years. For self-employed people this was considerably higher, at over 66 years. Just over eight in ten workers who retired in 2006 were younger than 65. For the self-employed this was just over one quarter.
The average retirement age was highest in agriculture and fishery, at just over 63 years, followed by trade and repairs with just over 62 years. Workers in the sectors energy and water and public administration stopped work earlier, at 58 and nearly 60 years respectively.
Average retirement age of workers, 2006
Koos Arts and Ferdy Otten