International trade provided over 2.2 million jobs in the Netherlands in 2012. In 1988 this was 1.5 million jobs, so there has been a job increase of nearly 50 percent within 25 years. Also, significantly fewer jobs were lost in internationally active companies at the start of the crisis in 2008. These are some of the conclusions from the Internationalisation monitor (in Dutch) published by Statistics Netherlands today.
Full-time jobs related to exports
Twice as much job growth through exports than through domestic consumption
The number of full-time jobs thanks to the exports of goods and services has increased by 40 percent in 25 years. This is nearly twice as high as the growth rate in employment related to domestic consumption. Population growth stood at 9 percent during this period. Nearly a third of all jobs in 2012 came from goods and services exports. For the sake of comparison, the export volume also grew faster than domestic spending, except in 2008-2009 and 2001-2002.
The number of jobs based on the exports of services has increased substantially; from 400 thousand in 1988 to over 800 thousand jobs in 2012. These are not only new jobs; there has also been a shift from non-export related jobs to export-related jobs. This occurred primarily in agriculture and in manufacturing.
Wholesale and retail trade, in ICT and temp jobs provided most of the job growth. These are the sectors that were able to benefit from increased internationalisation. The number of jobs related to goods exports did not grow quite as much, namely by 18 percent.
More jobs retained during the recession in internationally active companies
Some 250 thousand jobs have been lost in the Netherlands since the start of the recession in 2008. Yet initially the crisis did not have a great deal of impact on Dutch employment. The choice made by employers to hang on to their highly trained personnel meant that unemployment remained relatively low for some time. However, it has increased rapidly since 2011, with unemployment reaching 8.3 percent in 2013.
Despite the fact that the economic crisis started abroad and could gain ground in the Netherlands through trade and value chains, employment in companies with international ties developed a lot more favourably than in the average Dutch company. In 2008 and 2009 the number of jobs shrank at the same rate in either type of company, but in 2011 and 2012 far more jobs were lost in companies without international trade or investments. Internationally active companies turned out to be better able to resist the economic crisis in terms of employment.
Year-on-year job changes
Higher salaries in foreign owned companies
Foreign owned companies in the Netherlands also pay higher salaries.
Employees earned the highest salaries in American, Finnish and Japanese owned companies. This is also because these companies are often active in the more highly paying sectors; after all an employee working for a German bank in the Netherlands earns more than someone working at a hair dresser’s. But even if the differences between sectors, company size, international activities and personal characteristics are taken into account, the difference in salary remains 10 percent.
Average salary, by country of the parent company