Dramatic employment growth in care sector

19/07/2011 15:00

Over the past decade, the amount of jobs in the care sector increased by 385 thousand. Overall employment growth in the Netherlands was 515 thousand, so three quarters of new jobs in the past ten years were created in the care sector.

Job growth, 2001-2010

Job growth, 2001-2010

Limited job growth in market sector

In the public sector, the number of jobs increased by 101 thousand (10 percent) between 2000 and 2010, mainly in education. The private sector accounts for three quarters of all jobs nationwide. The number of jobs in the private sector grew by only 30 thousand (0.4 percent). Employment growth in the other years of the past decade was offset by the loss of jobs due to the recession in 2002/2003 and the economic crisis of 2008/2009.

With a job growth rate of 38 percent over the past decade, employment in the care sector appears to be less sensitive to economic ups and downs. Care includes health care (543 thousand jobs) and welfare (846 thousand jobs).

Jobs in the ten largest sectors

Jobs in the ten largest sectors

Trade largest sector

Trade is the largest sector (1.5 million jobs), immediately followed by the care sector with 1.4 million jobs; manufacturing industry is in third place. The importance of the sectors manufacturing industry, agriculture and construction has been reduced considerably over the past decades. Forty years ago, manufacturing industry was in first place and care in fifth. Trade has been the largest sector since 1989.

Total amount of hours worked, 1970-2010

Total amount of hours worked, 1970-2010

Half a million extra jobs for women

The employment growth of the past decade is entirely attributable to women. Male employment increased by only 12 thousand versus 504 thousand for women. Employment growth in the care sector is an important factor in this respect. One quarter of all women are employed in the care sector. Four in every five jobs in this sector are occupied by women.

Women currently occupy nearly half of all jobs, but they much more often work on a part-time basis than men. As a result of this situation, the share of hours worked by women in the Netherlands is only 37 percent. On average, men worked 1,621 hours last year and women 1,107 hours.

Han van den Berg, Stanley Tsang-Ason and Job van der Zwan