Nearly 2 percent fewer employee jobs in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2020

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In 2020, the number of salaried jobs in the Caribbean Netherlands fell by almost 2 percent year-on-year. The number of jobs was down by 240 on Bonaire while on St Eustatius and Saba it remained virtually unchanged. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of new figures.

Employee jobs in the Caribbean Netherlands
 2020 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)
St Eustatius1.371.36

The decrease in employee jobs followed a period of sustained job growth. Between 2011 and 2019, the number of jobs in the Caribbean Netherlands increased by an average of 5 percent annually, while the population grew by 2.3 percent on average per year. From 2019 to 2020, the number of salaried jobs decreased by 1.7 percent, concurrent with 3.3 percent population growth. How this decline relates to the effects of the coronavirus crisis has not been investigated.

An emergency package of 47 million US dollars was provided last year to cushion these effects. On Bonaire, for example, the number of tourists dropped by almost 60 percent in 2020. In relative terms, the decline in tourism was even sharper on St Eustatius and Saba, but the numbers on these islands were lower.

Bonaire: most job losses recorded in accommodation and food services

The strongest decline in jobs on Bonaire occurred in the accommodation and food services sector. Declines were also seen in construction, transport, information and communication, recreation and other services, and to a lesser extent in manufacturing and real estate activities.

Employee jobs on Bonaire
Accommodation and food services14801650
Business services14301370
Public administration
and government services
Health and care11801190
Culture, recreation,
other services
Transportation, information
and communication
Financial services270270
Real estate activities270280
Energy, water,
and waste management
Mining and quarrying3040

Sharpest decline in youth employment

In terms of age group, it was mainly the group of young employees where job losses occurred. In both absolute and relative terms, the decline was largest in jobs held by 15 to 24-year-olds. There were also fewer jobs for people aged 45 to 54 years and, to a lesser degree, for 25 to 34-year-olds.

Employee jobs on Bonaire by age
15 to 24 yrs11001260
25 to 34 yrs25202570
35 to 44 yrs23902370
45 to 54 yrs22502370
55 to 64 yrs19401870
65 to 74 yrs310310
75 yrs and over6060

Average annual wage per employee job down on St Eustatius

In 2020, the average wage per salaried job rose on Bonaire and Saba (+2.0 and +3.4 percent respectively), while St Eustatius saw a relatively sharp decrease (-6.7 percent). This decrease was mainly seen in employee jobs in construction.

Average annual wage per employee job in the Caribbean Netherlands
 2020 (1,000 US dollars)2019 (1,000 US dollars)
St Eustatius33.936.32