The total number of hours worked in temp jobs increased was 1.1 percent higher in the first quarter of 2015 than in the fourth quarter of 2014. According to Statistics Netherlands, the total number of hours worked has been increasing for two years now. Just as in the two previous quarters, the number of temp hours increased in both long-term and short-term employment contracts, but the increase was smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the first quarter of 2015 there were 225 thousand temp agency workers in the Netherlands.
Slower increase in demand for short-term temp contracts
The number of long-term temporary contracts, e.g. secondment and pay rolling, increased by 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter. The number of hours worked in these types of contracts has been rising for more than three years now, which is consistent with the downward trend in permanent employment contracts. Employers are opting more and more for long-term temporary contracts instead of permanent contracts, making it easier to recruit and dismissing staff. The increase in hours worked was smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2014.
At 0.2 percent, the number of hours worked in short-term temporary employment contracts also rose less sharply than the previous quarter, when the increase was 1.3 percent. An increase in the number of hours worked in short-term temp jobs is usually one of the first indicators of labour market recovery.
Labour market recovery slowing down
The development in the temp agency branch is consistent with the broader trend on the labour market. On Wednesday 13 May Statistics Netherlands announced that labour market recovery was slower in the first quarter of 2015. The number of jobs grew by 6 thousand from the preceding quarter. The number of temp workers rose most notably. The number of job vacancies also increased further, by 6 thousand. Last Thursday, 21 May, Statistics Netherlands reported a small decrease in the number of unemployed in April 2015.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.