slightly more jobs and vacancies in third quarter

  • Unemployment down, slightly more jobs and vacancies
  • Long-term unemployment up
  • Labour market more dynamic
  • Smaller decrease in labour force

According to the labour market review published by Statistics Netherlands today, the cautious recovery of the labour market continued in the third quarter of 2014. There was a modest increase in the number of jobs and job vacancies. Unemployment fell for the second quarter in a row, although long-term unemployment increased further.

Nearly 40 thousand fewer unemployed than in second quarter

Unemployment fell further in the third quarter. After correction for seasonal effects, 635 thousand people were unemployed, 37 thousand fewer than in the second quarter. Unemployment had also fallen in the second quarter, by 12 thousand, but was still rising at the beginning of the year. The reason unemployment has decreased is that more unemployed people have found a job. Unemployment was also down at the end of last year, but that was the result of unemployed people withdrawing from the labour market. The number of unemployed in the Netherlands reached the highest level this century at the beginning of the year. In a European perspective, however, the Dutch rate is low.

Long-term unemployment still rising

The main decrease in unemployment was in age group 25-44 years. It also fell in younger and older age groups, but by less. As Statistics Netherlands reported earlier this month, never in the last ten years have so few unemployed young people been able to find a job. Although short-term unemployment is now falling, the number of people unemployed for a longer period of time continues to rise. In the third quarter, 45 percent of all unemployed had been out of work for at least a year. Twelve months previously this was still 35 percent. For the over-45s unemployment is often long-term: over 60 percent of older unemployed people had been out of a job for at least a year.

More jobs for employees and self-employed

The number of jobs of employees and self-employed rose slightly in the third quarter of 2014. Overall, there were 5.5 thousand jobs more than in the second quarter. The increase in the last two quarters comes after more than two years of reduction.  A total of over 200  thousand jobs were lost in this period. The number of jobs of employees rose by 2 thousand, the number of jobs of self-employed by 3.5 thousand in the third quarter. This is the second quarter in a row that the number of employee jobs rose. Around one in fourteen employees have two jobs. This share has risen gradually in the last ten years.

Largest jobs  increase in business services

The business services sector showed the largest rise in the number of jobs. Most were for people working via temp agencies. There were also more jobs in the trade sector, where the number of vacancies had risen in previous quarters. However, in other sectors - such as care and construction - employment is still decreasing. Fifty thousand jobs have been lost in the care sector since the beginning of 2013, mainly as a result of cuts in childcare and home care. Although the number of care sector vacancies has risen constantly in the last four quarters, at 13 thousand the increase is small.

More job vacancies

The number of job vacancies rose again in the third quarter of 2014, to reach 113 thousand at the end of September. This is 5 thousand more than in the previous quarter. It is the fifth quarter in a row that the number of job vacancies has risen. The number rose across all sectors, but by most in trade and manufacturing. This corresponds to the growth in these two sectors this year.

Labour market more dynamic

The number of job vacancies at the end of a quarter is the net result of new vacancies created in that quarter and the number of vacancies filled. The higher these numbers are, the more dynamic the labour market is. Both the number of new and the number of filled vacancies have risen in the last five quarters. In the third quarter of 2014 there were 179 thousand new job vacancies, while 174 thousand were filled.  This is the highest number of filled vacancies since the end of 2011.

Smaller decrease in labour force

The total labour force (employed and unemployed) continued to fall in the third quarter of 2014, although by less than in the second quarter. The employed labour force increased, but there was a larger reduction of the unemployed labour force. The reduction in the total labour force in the course of this year has partly been caused by the decrease in the potential labour force - everybody aged 15-64 years. In addition, fewer young people are entering the labour market, preferring to stay on in education. At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, the decrease in the labour force was related to an increase in the number of people who stopped looking for work, for example because they did not expect to find a job. In the second and third quarters the number of discouraged jobseekers was at the same level as twelve months previously, however.