More older employees on permanent contracts

11/06/2014 15:00

Between 2001 and 2013, the share of employees in the employed labour force was reduced from 88 to 85 percent, but the share increased among over-55s, because employees continue to work longer. The number of employees with flexible employment contracts is growing.

One in three are flexible workers or self-employed

Last year, 68 percent in the employed labour force had permanent employment contracts, versus 76 percent in 2001. Both the share of flexible workers and the share of self-employed have grown during this period. Together, these two groups made up nearly one-third of the employed labour force in 2013.

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 15 to 64 years

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 15 to 64 years

Substantial increase in older employees due to higher retirement age

Unlike among under-55s, the number of employees increased among over-55s, because employees work longer and retire later. In 2006, the average age of retirement for employees was 61, as against nearly 64 in 2013. Since 2006, pension schemes have become more austere.

Most employees who continue working have permanent employment contracts. Last year, 72 percent of working over-60s had permanent contracts, versus 53 percent in 2001. The amount of self-employed over-60s also grew, though far less rapidly. Self-employed have always worked longer.

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 60 to 64 years

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 60 to 64 years

More young people on flexible contracts

The amount of flexible employment contracts is growing. Between 2001 and 2013, the number of permanent employment contracts decreased by more than 300 thousand. The number of flexible employment contracts increased by nearly 400 thousand over the same period.

The share of flexible contracts increased remarkably from 34 percent in 2001 to 55 percent in 2013 among young people in the age category 15-24. Since 2010, young people with flexible employment contracts outnumber those with permanent employment contracts. The majority of young flexible workers are on-call or substitute workers. The share of young temp workers has declined considerably.

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 15 to 24 years

Employed labour force by position on the labour market, 15 to 24 years

Hendrika Lautenbach and Marian Driessen