Labour participation among young men restored

© Hollandse Hoogte / Peter Hilz
More young men have started working over the past two years. For a long time, net labour participation among young men lagged behind the female rate. Now, due to the relatively sharp increase in recent years, the share in paid employment is larger among young men than among young women. This is the first time since measurements began in 2003. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of newly released figures.

In May 2022, labour participation among young men (76.2 percent) began exceeding the participation rate among young women (76.1 percent). For years, young women (15 to 24-year-olds) were more likely to have paid work than young men. Especially in the past year, there was a relatively sharp rise in paid employment among young men.

Among 25 to 74-year-olds, net labour participation has been higher among men than among women for years.

Net labour participation rate among 15 to 24-year-olds, seasonally adjusted
JaarMaandMen (%)Women (%)

In Q1 2022, 797 thousand young men were in paid work, i.e. 87 thousand more than one year previously. The number of young women in employment increased as well (by 36 thousand). Around 781 thousand young women had paid jobs in Q1 2022.

Young men more likely to have a permanent contract

Both the number of young people with a flexible employment contract and the number of young people in permanent employment increased year on year in the first quarter, by around 60 thousand each. Young men were more likely to enter into a permanent contract than young women.

The majority of young people are employed as flex workers. This means that they either have a fixed-term contract or work a flexible number of hours per week, usually as an on-call or temporary worker.

Young people (15 to 24 yrs) by type of employment
   Q1 2021 (x 1,000)Q1 2022 (x 1,000)
Employed: permanent employmentMen115159
Employed: permanent employmentWomen130145
Employed: flexible employmentMen556592
Employed: flexible employmentWomen588615

More young men working part-time

The number of part-time workers among young people has increased relatively sharply over the past year. The increase was more substantial among men than among women. Most young people have a part-time job (fewer than 35 hours per week). Young women are more likely to work part-time than young men.

Young people (15 to 24 yrs) by working hours
   Q1 2021 (x 1,000)Q1 2022 (x 1,000)

Mainly more hospitality workers

Many young people have a commercial, logistical or service-oriented occupation. Young women are more likely to work as retail sales assistants or checkout assistants, while young men are more often employed as loaders, unloaders or shelf stackers. Within service occupations, both young men and young women are relatively often employed in the accommodation and food services sector, working as waiters, kitchen assistants or behind the bar. Especially the number of young people employed in this sector increased last year. This was related to the recovery of the sector compared to the beginning of 2021, when a strict lockdown was in place.

The proportion of young people with a pedagogical occupation, especially childcare workers or teaching assistants, increased sharply among both women and men. The sharper increase among young male workers was mainly visible in technical occupations and business and administrative occupations. Almost all underlying technical occupational segments showed an increase. Within business and administrative occupations, the number of young men working as transport planners or logistics assistants grew in particular.

Occupational classes with sharp y-o-y rise in male labour participation (15-24 yrs)
BeroepsklasseQ1 2022 (x 1,000)Q1 2021 (x 1,000)
and administrative
and administrative