More workers from Central and Eastern Europe

05/07/2011 15:00

In March this year, there were 125 thousand nationals of EU member states in Central or Eastern Europe in the Netherlands, an increase by more than 20 percent relative to March last year; 37 thousand had registered as residents of a Dutch municipality.

Recession barely affected inflow

The number of workers from EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe appeared to come to a standstill in 2009 on account of the economic crisis, but is currently rising at the same rate as in the pre-recession era. The average worker from Central and Eastern Europe in the Netherlands is 33 years of age. Nearly two thirds are men.

Workers from EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe

Workers from EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe

One quarter registered with municipal authorities

Approximately one quarter of workers from Central and Eastern Europe have registered as residents of a Dutch municipality in the Municipal population registers (GBA). The number of workers included in the GBA is gradually growing, but the total number of workers from Central and Eastern Europe at a particular moment heavily depends on the season. There is a massive inflow of workers in summer when a large number of temps are working in agricultural and horticultural production.

Most temps do not register

Most workers from Central and Eastern Europe not registered in the GBA are temps. They are usually employed in the Netherlands on a temporary basis. Most workers registered in the GBA have found work for a longer period of time and therefore have settled in the Netherlands.

Workers from EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe by type of contract and registration in a Dutch municipality, March 2011

Workers from EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe by type of contract and registration in a Dutch municipality, March 2011

Overwhelming majority are Poles

More than four in every five workers from Central and Eastern Europe came from Poland in March 2011. The amount of Polish workers in the Netherlands has grown by nearly 18 thousand relative to one year previously. One quarter of them have registered in the GBA database versus more than three quarters of Romanian and Bulgarian workers. The amount of Romanians and Bulgarians is small and barely growing.

Workers from Central and Eastern Europe by nationality, March 2011

Workers from Central and Eastern Europe by nationality, March 2011

Johan van Rooijen and Elisabeth Eenkhoorn