Average age labour force more than 5 years up within two decades

11/04/2013 15:00

The average age in the employed labour force has risen further to 41.4 years in 2012. On average, employees are younger than self-employed, but their average age increases faster. The sectors public administration and government services have aged most during the past two decades.

Average age in the employed labour force continues to rise

Between 1990 and 2012, the average age in the employed labour force has increased from 36.2 to 41.4 years. The labour force is ageing because the entire Dutch population is ageing, but mainly because the labour participation rate among older people has risen significantly. In 1990, for example, only 35 percent of 50 to 65-year-olds were employed, versus 62 percent in 2012.

Average age in the employed labour force and net labour participation rate 50 to 65-year-olds

Average age in the employed labour force and net labour participation rate 50 to 65-year-olds

Average age among employees rises more quickly than among self-employed

The average age among self-employed has continually been higher than among employees during the past two decades. This is partly because self-employed more often continue working after having reached the age of old age pension entitlement. In 2012, the average age of self-employed was 46.1 years, versus 40.6 years for employees.

However, the average age among employees increases more rapidly than among self-employed. In 2012, for example, employees were on average 5.4 years older than their 1990 counterparts, but for self-employed the difference was only 2.6 years. The average age among employees with permanent contracts was increasing faster than among employees with flexible contracts.

Average age employees and self-employed in the employed labour force

Average age employees and self-employed in the employed labour force

Civil servants top the list

The average age of employees has risen across all sectors of industry between 1990 and 2011. With 8 years, the highest increase by far in this period was found in public administration and government services. But with approximately 6.5 years, the increase was also substantial in the sectors financial institutions, health care and welfare and manufacturing industry. The sector hotels and restaurants had the lowest increase (2 years).

With 43.7 years, the average age is highest in public administration and government services, immediately followed by education with 43.2 years. In the sector hotels and restaurants, the average age is by far the lowest (31.1 years).

Average age employees in employed labour force

Average age employees in employed labour force

Koos Arts and Ferdy Otten