Vacancy indicator

What does the survey comprise?

Purpose

A quick indication of the direction in which the number of job vacancies in the private sector
are expected to develop.

Domain

The vacancy indicator that comprises all economic activities, is an arithmetic average of the vacancy indicators for manufacturing, construction and commercial services. These component vacancy indicators are derived from several variables of the monthly business sentiment surveys conducted by Statistics Netherlands and the Economic Institute for the Construction Industry.

Date survey started

January 1998.

Frequency

Monthly.

Publication strategy

New figures are published monthly. The published results remain provisional for six months, and then become definite. The definite figures are determined with the aid of information received later, and may differ from
previously published provisional figures.

How is the survey conducted?

Main sources

The main sources for the vacancy indicator for the private sector are the business sentiment surveys conducted by Statistics Netherlands, and the business survey in construction conducted by the EIB.

Integration framework

Step 1
The results from the business sentiment survey are seasonally adjusted.

Step 2
The seasonally adjusted economic indicators (the answers to the corresponding questions from the business sentiment surveys) are then normalised, i.e. an arithmetic mean and standard error are calculated. The mean value is then subtracted from each seasonally adjusted economic indicator, and the result of this calculation is divided by the standard error. The outcomes of this process are subsequently used to calculate preliminary vacancy indicators for manufacturing, construction and commercial services. Lastly, the weighted arithmetic average of the three component indicators is calculated, which gives the vacancy indicator for all economic activities.

Step 3
In the final stage, the normalised results for the four vacancy indicators are corrected for random bias. The indicator shows the direction in which job vacancies develop. It does not, however, predict by how much vacancies will increase or decrease.

Quality of the results

Every month, following the release of the latest results, a seasonal correction is applied to the entire indicator series. This may affect previously published results for the preceding six months. In general, revisions are only small.