Increase in east European workers picks up again

13/07/2010 15:00

In March 2010, 100 thousand workers from EU countries in eastern Europe were employed in the Netherlands. This is 12 thousand more than twelve months previously. The increase in the number of east European workers slowed down substantially in the course of 2009, but picked up again at the beginning of this year.

Increase in workers from EU countries in eastern Europe compared with same month in previous year

Increase in workers from EU countries in eastern Europe compared with same month in previous year

Peak in the summer, fall in the winter

The number of east European workers employed in the Netherlands is larger in the summer than in the winter months. This is because many of them do seasonal labour in agriculture. The number of east European workers peaked at nearly 120 thousand in the summer of 2009. It subsequently fell to just over 90 thousand in the winter months January and February, to start growing again in March.

Four out of five east European workers are Polish; and 38 percent are women.

Workers from EU countries in eastern Europe

Workers from EU countries in eastern Europe

Half of workers have an address abroad

Half of east European workers are employed via temp agencies. Half also have an address in the Netherlands. Agency workers in particular work in the Netherlands temporarily, and still officially live in their country of origin.

East European workers by terms of employment (agency or not) and country of residence, March 2010

East European workers by terms of employment (agency or not) and country of residence, March 2010

André Corpeleijn and Michiel Heerschop