More new vacancies in 2021 for all occupations

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Following a six-year period of continuous job vacancy growth, in 2020 the number of new vacancies fell by 241 thousand to 1.0 million. It subsequently rose again by 400 thousand to 1.4 million in 2021, reaching the highest level ever recorded. The increase was visible in all occupational classes. This is evident from new labour market figures which have been released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In 2020, all occupational groups showed a decline in new vacancies. The sharpest drop was seen among business and administrative occupations (-54 thousand), but the number rose again in 2021, by nearly 90 thousand to 255 thousand. Service occupations also saw a sharp drop in new vacancies, by over 50 thousand. This occupational group recovered as well last year, providing nearly 49 thousand more new vacancies.

New vacancies
Beroepsklasse2021* (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2019* (x 1,000)2018* (x 1,000)
Business and
Health care and welfare147.2114119.2109.4
Transport and logistics112.281.995.897.9
* Provisional figures

Vacancy growth mainly in accommodation and food services

The increase in the number of new vacancies is reflected in all sectors. Especially in accommodation and food services, demand was up for business and administrative posts last year: in the pre-pandemic year 2019, 15.8 thousand new vacancies were created; this number decreased to 6.5 thousand in 2020, before rising again to 15.6 thousand in 2021. For service occupations such as cooks, bar staff and kitchen assistants, the number of new vacancies stood at 69.9 thousand in 2019; it halved in 2020 and increased again to 71.9 thousand in 2021.

Another noteworthy development in the accommodation and food services sector is in the demand for transport and logistics occupations. At 5.7 thousand, the number of vacancies remained virtually unchanged in 2020 relative to the previous year, but it doubled to 10.9 thousand in 2021.

New vacancies in accommodation and food services
Jaar2018* (x 1,000)2019* (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)
Business and administration14.315.86.515.6
Transport and logistics3.965.710.9
* Provisional figures

Demand for retail staff has been restored

In 2021, business and administrative occupations saw the strongest growth within the retail sector: 32.7 thousand new vacancies, up from 16.4 thousand in 2020. This is more than the 22.7 thousand new vacancies in the pre-pandemic year 2019. Commercial occupations form the largest occupational group within the retail sector. The demand for personnel in this occupational group declined to 60.2 thousand new vacancies in 2020, over 21 thousand (one quarter) fewer than in the previous year. Demand was restored in 2021 with 73.1 thousand new vacancies.

In the retail sector as well, demand for transport and logistics occupations declined in 2020, by 5 thousand to 43.3 thousand new vacancies. In 2021, 48 thousand vacancies were created, almost as many as in 2019 (before the coronavirus crisis).

New vacancies in retail trade
Beroepsklasse2018* (x 1,000)2019* (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)
Business and administration23.422.716.432.7
Transport and logistics48.348.543.348
* Provisional figures