Number of vacancies stabilising

  • 128 thousand unfilled vacancies
  • slight changes per economic sector
  • vacancy rate stays at a low level
  • fewer new vacancies and vacancies filled

According to the latest figures of Statistics Netherlands, the number of unfilled vacancies has stabilised in the third quarter of 2009. By the end of September 2009 the seasonally adjusted number of unfilled vacancies was 128 thousand, about the same as in the second quarter. The number of vacancies stays low, although it is 40 thousand higher than the record low of 2003. De vacancy rate also stays low since few new vacancies came up and few were filled. The same was the case in the previous quarter.

At the end of September 2007 the number of unfilled vacancies reached the record high of 253 thousand. The number of vacancies stayed high for about a year, namely over 240 thousand. The number of vacancies fell sharply after the third quarter of 2008. In the period until the end of June 2009 the number fell by 120 thousand. In the third quarter of 2009 the number of vacancies stayed about the same. Given the economic situation this must be considered a positive development. However, it is still too early to consider this a turning point.

The stabilisation applies across the board. The number of vacancies in commercial services remains about the same as in the previous quarter, namely 66 thousand. Commercial services include trade and business services. In manufacturing and construction as well as in non-commercial services the number of vacancies fell by 2 thousand to 14 and 45 thousand respectively. Non-commercial services include government, education, health care and social work and culture.

Due to the low number of vacancies the vacancy rate also remains low. By the end of September 2009 there were on average 16 vacancies per thousand jobs. This number nearly halved compared to September 2008. The vacancy rate fell most sharply, in absolute terms, in construction. Here the vacancy rate was 15 at the end of September 2009 whereas one year earlier it was 43.

In the third quarter of 2009 there were 182 thousand new vacancies, down 81 thousand on one year before. The number of new vacancies stays at a low level, as does the number of vacancies filled. In the third quarter of 2009 195 thousand vacancies were filled, 94 thousand less than one year earlier. The job market is more dynamic than in 2003, when the number of vacancies reached a record low.

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