Nearly 80K employees from Belgium and Germany in 2016

© Hollandse Hoogte / Dolph Cantrijn
Out of the 7.7 million employee jobs in the Netherlands as of December 2016, around 1 percent were filled by employees who were residents of either Belgium or Germany. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of newly released figures from registrations.

Altogether 40 thousand cross-border commuters resided in Belgium and 38 thousand in Germany, many of them Dutch citizens. The commuters from Belgium who were employed in the Netherlands included 23 thousand Dutch and 15 thousand Belgians. Among the employees from Germany were 17 thousand Dutch and 14 thousand Germans as well as 4 thousand Poles.

Most employees from Belgium were employed in the provinces of Noord-Brabant (38 percent) and Limburg (30 percent). The remaining 32 percent had jobs in other provinces. The commuters from Germany were mainly employed in Limburg (28 percent) and Gelderland (22 percent).

Distribution of employees from Belgium or Germany, 2016
ProvincieEmployees from Germany (%)Employees from Belgium (%)
Groningen (PV)3.00.7
Friesland (PV)1.00.5
Drenthe (PV)3.30.5
Overijssel (PV)13.51.2
Flevoland (PV)0.50.5
Gelderland (PV)22.43.1
Utrecht (PV)3.43.3
Noord-Holland (PV)6.56.7
Zuid-Holland (PV)7.110.4
Zeeland (PV)0.45.5
Noord-Brabant (PV)10.437.7
Limburg (PV)28.430.0

Workers from Belgium and Germany more often in manufacturing

A comparison among employees from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany shows that the latter group is the most divergent in terms of their distribution over the various branches of industry. The distribution of employees from the Netherlands and Belgium shows similarities, although the ‘Belgians’ were twice as likely to work in manufacturing. Cross-border commuters from Germany also worked in manufacturing relatively more often, but their share was considerably larger in rental and other business services. These include temp agencies and payroll companies, for example. Over one-quarter were employed in this branch of industry.

Employees by sector and country of residence, 2016
 Netherlands (%)Belgium (%)Germany (%)
Transport and storage4.64.79.0
Financial services3.54.01.6
Rental and other business services11.49.927.0
Health and welfare16.714.77.1

Employees from Belgium more often earning high hourly wages

In terms of hourly wages, employees from Germany are relatively likely to find themselves in the lower hourly wage categories (10 to 20 euros per hour) compared to their local counterparts; many of them are temp workers. Employees from Belgium, on the other hand, are underrepresented among the groups of low earners and are relatively more likely to earn higher hourly wages.

Employees by hourly wage category and country of residence, 2016
UurloonklasseNetherlands (%)Belgium (%)Germany (%)
0-9 euros12.54.57.5
10-14 euros23.216.234.2
15-19 euros22.620.824.4
20-24 euros16.91913.7
25-29 euros10.412.77.5
30-34 euros5.47.74.2
35-39 euros3.252.5
40-44 euros1.93.41.4
45-49 euros1.22.31.1
50-54 euros0.81.90.8
55-59 euros0.51.20.5
60-64 euros0.41.10.4
65-69 euros0.30.80.3
70 euros or more0.93.51.6

More men are employees across borders

The male/female ratio among commuters from Germany and Belgium deviated from that among employees from the Netherlands. With 52 percent men and 48 percent women, the ratio in the Netherlands was fairly balanced. Among employees from Germany and Belgium, however, men are clearly in the majority with shares of 68 and 61 percent respectively.