Higher share of Ukrainian refugees in employment

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
Out of the approximately 65 thousand Ukrainian refugees aged 15 to 64 years who were residing in the Netherlands on 1 November 2022, 46 percent were in paid employment. This was still 35 percent on 1 July. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of figures on Ukrainian refugees in paid employment.

Ukrainian refugees who came to the Netherlands after the Russian invasion in late February 2022 do not need a work permit to work. This puts them in an exceptional position compared to other migrants from outside the European Union or countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Around 65 thousand of the Ukrainians in the Netherlands were between the ages of 15 and 64. Over 30 thousand of them were employed by a Dutch employer. This is equivalent to 46 percent.

Employees among Ukrainian refugees (15-64 yrs), 1 November 2022
 LeeftijdEmployed (%)
TotalTotal (15-64 yrs)46
Total15-24 yrs45
Total25-44 yrs50
Total45-64 yrs41
MenTotal (15-64 yrs)50
Men15-24 yrs47
Men25-44 yrs55
Men45-64 yrs40
WomenTotal (15-64 yrs)45
Women15-24 yrs43
Women25-44 yrs47
Women45-64 yrs41

Majority have flexible contracts and work part-time

Most Ukrainian refugees were employed as on-call workers (26 percent), temporary workers (43 percent), or had other temporary employment (28 percent). The majority of refugees worked part-time: 58 percent worked less than 25 hours per week; 13 percent worked full-time (35 hours or more). On average, they were working more hours per week than at the beginning of July. The proportion working more than 20 hours per week increased by 38 percent. In addition, a larger share was employed as temporary workers and a smaller share as on-call workers compared to July.

Most Ukrainian refugees were employed in the business services sector (56 percent), which includes employment agencies. It is often impossible to verify in which sector temporary employees are being deployed. Apart from business services, comparatively many Ukrainian refugees also worked in the sector trade, transport and accommodation and food services. Most of them were employed in accommodation and food services.

Refugees with non-Ukrainian nationality more likely to be employed

Eight percent of the refugees from Ukraine do not have Ukrainian nationality. These are 6.8 thousand people, most of whom have Nigerian or Moroccan nationality, or the nationality of a country belonging to the former Soviet Union. Three quarters of this group are men (75 percent). Among refugees with Ukrainian nationality, on the other hand, men are in the minority (38 percent).

The group of refugees with non-Ukrainian nationality had a larger share of employees than the group with Ukrainian nationality (68 versus 44 percent). This was particularly true for young men (77 versus 38 percent in the 15-24 age category). This was already the case at the beginning of July, but the gap had widened by November.

Furthermore, 16 percent of those not holding Ukrainian nationality had more than one job at the same time. This is over twice as many as in the group with Ukrainian nationality.

Employees among Ukrainian refugees (15-64 yrs) by nationality, 1 November 2022
GeslachtLeeftijdUkrainian nationality (%)Non-Ukrainian nationality (%)
MenTotal (15-64 yrs)4471
Men15-24 yrs3877
Men25-44 yrs5071
Men45-64 yrs3947
WomenTotal (15-64 yrs)4457
Women15-24 yrs4168
Women25-44 yrs4754
Women45-64 yrs4135