Labour participation rate down in 2013

  • Labour participation rate down among both genders
  • Growing number of 45 to 64-year-olds in the labour force
  • Fewer people have permanent employment contracts

In 2013, nearly 7.3 million Dutch nationals aged 15-64 had paid jobs for twelve hours a week or more, a decline by more than 100 thousand relative to 2012. The net labour participation rate was 66.1 percent versus 67.2 percent in 2012.

Men almost entirely accounted for the reduction. The labour participation rate in the male population decreased from 73.7 percent in 2012 to 72.3 percent in 2013. The labour participation rate among women was also reduced marginally: from 60.6 percent in 2012 to 59.9 percent in 2013. The participation rate in the male population has fallen continually since the economic recession set in by the end of 2008. The rate in the female population was still growing marginally last year.

The reduction of the net labour participation in 2013 occurred simultaneously with a rise in unemployment. The labour force is defined as the total number of people available for work, whether employed or unemployed. Both the male and the female labour force remained virtually unchanged this year. The number of 45 to 64-year-olds in the labour force increased further among both genders.

Last year, nearly 5 million employees had permanent employment contracts, 169 thousand fewer than in 2012. Among young people in particular, the number of permanent employment was reduced dramatically, while the number of employees working flexible hours increased: by 38 thousand to more than 1.2 million. More people were working in standby or replacement arrangements or on temporary employment contracts with an expiration period of at least one year. The number of self-employed also grew in 2013 and exceeded 1.1 million.