Since 1 January 2014, people from Bulgaria and Romania no longer need a work permit, if they want to work in the Netherlands. Partly as a result of this policy change, the number of Bulgarian and Romanian job-seekers coming to the Netherlands has grown by several thousands. According to Statistics Netherlands, their numbers are relatively low compared to the amount of job-seekers annually arriving from Poland.
Number of workers from Bulgaria and Romania doubled
On 1 July 2014, the number of Bulgarian workers amounted to 3.9 thousand, versus about 1.6 thousand at the end of 2013. Most people from Bulgaria coming to the Netherlands to work have not registered in the municipal population registers (GBA). Presumably, they will not stay in the Netherlands for a long time; 44 percent of Bulgarian workers are working for temp agencies, 11 percent are employed in the sector trade, 9 percent in the sector hotels and restaurants and 8 percent in agriculture. There are approximately as many Bulgarian men as women in the Netherlands. Their average age is 34.2 years.
During the first six months of 2014, the number of workers from Romania has doubled to over 6 thousand. Most Romanians, too, have not registered in the GBA and generally do not stay long. Just like Bulgarians, they are often employed by temp agencies (34 percent); 13 percent are employed in manufacturing industry and 10 percent in agriculture. The number of Romanian men in the Netherlands slightly exceeds the number of women. On average, they are about the same age (34.8 years) as their Bulgarians counterparts in the Netherlands.
Poles constitute the largest group from Eastern Europe
The number of people from Poland coming to the Netherlands is much higher. Over the first six months 2014, the number of Polish workers rose by more than 20 thousand to 145.6 thousand (1 July 2014), of whom approximately 30 percent have registered in the GBA. Seventy percent work for temp agencies, 12 percent in agriculture; 58 percent are men and 42 percent are women. With an average age of 32.2 years, Polish nationals constitute the youngest group of workers from Eastern Europe.