Nearly one in five employees are flex workers

30/05/2012 15:00

The number of flex workers is growing continually. Between 2001 and 2011, the share of flex workers grew from 13 to 18 percent. Most flex workers are young. The economic situation strongly affects the number of flex workers.

Employment flex workers follows economic cycle

In the period 2004–2007, the economy boosted and the number of flex jobs grew substantially. The economy contracted in 2009 and the number of flex workers was reduced. When the economy is performing poorly, employees with flexible contracts are the first ones to lose their jobs, but the number of flex jobs declined less rapidly than in previous years.

Economic growth and number of flex workers

Economic growth and number of flex workers

Share of flex workers grew almost by half over the past decade

There were more than 6.3 million employees in the Netherlands working at least twelve hours a week last year, of whom 18 percent had flexible employment contracts. In 2001, the share of flex workers was 13 percent.

More people on temporary contracts have the prospect of a permanent contract

The increase is mainly due to the share of employees with a temporary employment contract and prospect of a permanent employment contract with fixed working hours. In 2011, nearly 7 percent of employees versus 4 percent in 2001 found themselves in that situation. The share of on-call workers rose to 3 percent in 2011, but the share of temp workers has remained fairly stable at around 3 percent in 2001 as well as in 2011.

Share employees by type of flexible contract, 2011

Share employees by type of flexible contract, 2011

Most flex workers are young

The share of young people among flex workers has risen substantially from 35 percent in 2001 to 52 percent in 2011 in the age category 15–25. The share of flex workers also increased in the age category 25–35. More often than before, young people were working in on-call arrangements in 2011.

Share flex workers by age

Share flex workers by age

Wendy Smits