An increasing proportion in the Dutch population think unemployment will rise over the next twelve months. Manufacturing industry, construction and business services expect employment to deteriorate. Consumers tend to be pessimistic whenever the economy slumps. Unemployment has risen since June 2011, after eighteen months of decline.
More consumers expect unemployment to grow
The number of Dutch consumers anticipating unemployment growth has risen substantially in the course of this year. In October, 65 percent of consumers expected more unemployed in the next twelve months. Fewer than 10 percent expected employment to improve. Early 2011, consumers were not concerned about unemployment. Since the summer, unemployment has grown at an alarming rate: by 63 thousand over the period July–November.
Expected unemployment Dutch consumers and actual unemployment
Manufacturing industry and construction anticipate layoffs
In October 2011, manufacturing industry and construction anticipated their workforce to be reduced in the fourth quarter. Since the summer, manufacturers expecting workforce cuts have outnumbered those expecting employment in their sector to improve. Over the past three years, pessimism has prevailed in the construction sector. Throughout the latter half of 2011, pessimism has grown.
Expected workforce numbers in the sectors manufacturing industry and construction
Providers business services: employment marginally down
Providers of business services have different views with respect to future employment. Providers expecting employment to improve over the next three months were marginally outnumbered in October by those expecting a downturn. Optimists still constituted the majority group in ICT, but in other branches of the sector business services (e.g. architects, consultancy agencies and providers of general and technical services), pessimism prevailed. Retailers and people employed in the sector hotels and restaurants also feared workforce cuts.
Anticipated workforce numbers in sector business services