Nearly 960 thousand people in the Netherlands were self-employed in 2009, of whom 630 thousand did not employ others. In spite f the economic crisis they hardly worked less last year. The share for whom the volume of work fell in their sector did rise slightly.
No massive cutbacks in work
Nearly 960 thousand people were self-employed in 2009, almost 30 thousand fewer than in the previous year. The usual working hours of self-employed people fell only slightly last year. Their average working week remained fairly constant at around 44 hours a week in 2009. Reductions in working hours are reported mainly by employees, and these started long before the economic crisis set in.
Working hours of employees and self-employed
One third worked less than usual
Normal working hours may deviate from the number of hours a self-employed person actually worked in a certain week. In 2009 nearly one third of self-employed had worked for fewer hours than usual. This is slightly up on the previous year. People who usually worked for twenty or more hours a week were more likely to work shorter hours. The picture was similar for self-employed people without personnel.
This also indicates that the self-employed have not been working less on large scale. Orders may be down, but they may be spending time trying to get new orders or catching up with their accounts.
Self-employed who worked less than usual
Less work more often a reason to work shorter hours
Leave is the main reason given by self-employed for having worked fewer hours than usual. The only reason that rose significantly in 2009 was less work in the sector in which the self-employed work.
Reasons for self-employed working less than usual