Largest turnover growth in 2 years for temp agencies

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), turnover generated by temping agencies, employment agencies and payroll companies grew by 2.5 percent in Q4 2017 relative to Q3 2017. This is the highest increase in 2 years. The number of temp hours also increased again in Q4..

Simultaneously with the publication of Q4 data, annual figures become available. In 2017, turnover in the temp sector increased by 6.4 percent and the total number of temp hours by 8.6 percent.

Turnover temp sector, seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
2014 I107.6
2014 II109.6
2014 III111.8
2014 IV113.9
2015 I116.2
2015 II120.4
2015 III123.9
2015 IV129.8
2016 I128.2
2016 II130.3
2016 III131.6
2016 IV134.4
2017 I136
2017 II138.5
2017 III140.2
2017 IV143.7

More substantial increase temp hours

Turnover in the temp sector is strongly related to the number of temp hours. The number of hours worked in both short-term and long-term temporary employment contracts increased in Q4.

In long-term temporary contracts, e.g. secondment and pay-rolling, the number of hours was up by 3.4 percent in Q4 2017, versus 0.9 percent in Q3. This number has risen almost continually for six years now. Hours worked in short-term temporary contracts increased by 0.5 percent in Q4. This growth is slightly higher than in the preceding quarter.

Hours worked in temp jobs, seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
 short-term contractslong-term contracts
2014 I98.4119.8
2014 II97.1126.3
2014 III97.8129.4
2014 IV99.1133.7
2015 I99.3137.8
2015 II102.3142.1
2015 III104.6147.4
2015 IV106.6152.1
2016 I107.5150.4
2016 II110153.5
2016 III111.7156.8
2016 IV112.6162.1
2017 I112.5168.0
2017 II117.8172.3
2017 III118.1173.9
2017 IV118.7179.9

Tighter labour market

As reported by CBS on 14 February, the number of jobs rose by 57 thousand in Q4 2017 relative to the previous quarter. In addition, the number of unfilled vacancies grew by 14 thousand and unemployment (ILO definition) fell by 29 thousand in Q4. As a result, the Dutch labour market shows signs of a tightening labour market for the first time after 2007-2008.

Half of the job growth over the past few years is on account of the temp sector. Again, temp agencies showed the most substantial growth (24 thousand) in Q4 relative to Q3.

The figures in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.

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