Fewer jobs lost than anticipated

  • Job loss in second quarter 63 thousand relative to the same period last year
  • More jobs than in the first quarter
  • Employment growth in care sector and temp jobs
  • Increase wage costs 1.5 percent
  • Actual wage increase almost equal to CAO wage increase

In the second quarter of this year, 63 thousand jobs of employees (0.8 percent) were lost compared to the second quarter of 2009. On the other hand, employment grew by 24 thousand relative to the first quarter of 2010. According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands, this is the first increase after five quarters of employment decline.

Employment in the private sector is still below the level of one year previously; 136 thousand jobs were lost, but across all sectors the loss was considerably lower than in the preceding quarters.

The number of jobs in the sector non-commercial services continued to grow; 73 thousand jobs were gained in the second quarter relative to the same period last year. Employment increased considerably by 49 thousand in the care sector, but also improved in the public sector and in education compared to twelve months ago.

After correction for seasonal variation, employment rose by 0.3 percent in the second quarter in comparison to the first quarter. For the first time employment picked up after five successive quarters of decline. The change from growing unemployment to more jobs first became manifest in a growing demand for temp workers. This is largely due to flexible employment contracts commonly used in the sector temp agencies. Temp agencies were the first to suffer from the recession, but are also the first to benefit when the econmy improves.

Wages of employees per labour year were 1.3 percent higher in the second quarter than in the same period in 2009. The wage increase is almost equal to the increase in collectively negotiated (CAO) wages of 1.1 percent. Job promotions and variable bonuses, provisions and overtime payments hardly had a positive effect on wages.

Wage costs per labour year, including employer contributions, rose more rapidly (1.5 percent) than wages, because employers had to pay higher unemployment and health insurance premiums.