The activities by Dutch enterprises on and around the North Sea provide jobs, directly or indirectly, to almost a quarter of a million people. This is just over 4 percent of total employment in the Netherlands. The contribution to the total value added, that is what the entire Dutch population earns, is even higher at nearly 7 percent.
Employees (in FTE) in North Sea related activities
North Sea, ports and costal towns
The economic activities related to the North Sea do not all take place on the North Sea itself. Sea ports and the coastal area also have strong economic ties with the North Sea. The North Sea activities have an effect on employment in the rest of the Dutch economy as well. For instance, the activities in the ports provide jobs in the transport sector.
In 2007 some 14 thousand employees worked at sea in shipping, fishing, and oil and gas extraction. Most full-time jobs, 192 thousand, are tied to sea ports. These are jobs in the manufacturing industries, transport, storage and wholesale trade. Coastal areas also benefit from the proximity of the North Sea, for instance through tourism. Hotels and restaurants, the retail trade, culture and sports employed about 40 thousand people in the coastal areas.
Employees (in FTE) in seaport related activities
Port of Rotterdam provides most jobs
The Port of Rotterdam provides 86 thousand fulltime jobs, directly and indirectly. That is 45 percent of total unemployment related to the Dutch sea ports. The transhipment companies, the manufacturing industry, and the wholesale trade play a key role in ports. Indirectly, the transport sector plays a crucial role as well because these companies transport all cargo to the hinterland.
Developments in the North Sea related economy
Decreasing North Sea share in total employment
The share of the North Sea related economy in total employment in the Netherlands is falling. This is because the number of full-time jobs in the North Sea economy went down due to increasing mechanisation and automation. Furthermore, there has been a rapid increase in the employment in other areas such as services, especially in care, IT and business services in the last decennia. These companies hardly depend on the North Sea (only indirectly).
Maarten van Rossum and Joram Vuik
Source: Environmental accounts of the Netherlands 2010
Chapter 7- Economic description of North Sea for the Netherlands