Modest but sustained job growth

23/12/2010 15:00
  • Employment third quarter still 13 thousand down on last year’s third quarter
  • But more jobs than in the second quarter
  • Care and temp agencies contribute to job growth
  • Actual wage increase same as CAO wage increase
  • Wage costs increase 1.3 percent

The most recent employment figures presented by Statistics Netherlands show that the number of jobs of employees in the third quarter of 2010 was 13 thousand (0.2 percent) down on the third quarter of 2009. After correction for seasonal variation, employment grew by 11 thousand jobs.

The number of jobs in the private sector was 71 thousand below the level of one year previously. The decline is considerably lower than in the preceding quarters. Proportionally, the decline still substantial in construction and financial institutions. Employment remained stable in the sectors trade and hotels and restaurants.

The high employment growth in the sector non-commercial services continued with an increase by 57 thousand compared to twelve months ago. With 47 thousand jobs, the health care sector accounts for the bulk of the growth. In the public sector and in education, employment also rose relative to one year previously.

After correction for seasonal effects, the number of jobs grew by 0.1 percent from the second quarter. After five quarter of employment decline, the number of jobs increased for the second consecutive quarter, although quarter-on-quarter growth is less substantial than in the past quarter. Temp agencies made a significant contribution to employment growth. During the first stage of an economic recovery, employers are often cautious and prefer flex workers.

The average wage increase of employees per labour year was 1.1 percent in the third quarter relative to the third quarter of 2009. The wage increase is the same as the collectively negotiated (CAO) wage increase. Job promotions and variable payments like bonuses, commissions and overtime payments did not have an upward effect on wages.

With 1.3 percent, wage costs per labour year, including employer contributions, rose more rapidly than wages. This is due to the fact that employers had to pay higher contributions to unemployment and health insurances.