LMI of NL0


The economic situation in the Netherlands remains favourable. In 2017, the economy grew by 3.2 % and, according to the most recent forecasts of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), will grow by 2.8 % in 2018 and 2.6 % in 2019. This picture is also reflected in the increasingly tight conditions on the labour market. The number of jobs is increasing, there are more unfilled vacancies than there were a year ago and unemployment and the number of unemployment benefit recipients continue to fall.

According to Statistics Netherlands, there were 10.4 million jobs in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 248 000 on the previous year. This figure covers full-time and part-time positions of employees and self-employed persons. Four in five jobs are employed positions, while one in five is a self-employed job.

In 2019, the UWV expects the number of jobs to rise further, passing the 10.5 million mark. Around a million vacancies are becoming available every year. In recent years temporary posts have accounted for a significant proportion of overall job growth. The number of temporary jobs will rise further over the coming years, although job growth is anticipated in other sectors too. In the care and welfare sector, for example, the number of jobs is expected to increase by over 50 000 and in construction by 35 000 by the end of 2019. The number of jobs in financial services continues to decline, partly as a result of the digitisation of services, and will fall by around 8 000 in the space of two years. Nevertheless, there are also vacancies available in this sector, although the type of employment is changing and there is a shift from medium-skilled to higher-skilled jobs.

In June 2019, the working population in the Netherlands consisted of 9.1 million people. These are people between the ages of 15 and 75 who are in work or are looking for and available for work. Some 3.9 % of the working population, or 354 000 people, were unemployed according to the official international definition. However, this official figure does not give the full picture in terms of the total number of people seeking work or extra work. It does not include people who are immediately available for work but have not been looking for work recently, people who have been looking for work but are not immediately available, and people who are already in work but would like to work more hours. If these three groups are also included in the unemployment figure, there were over 1.1 million people who were potentially looking for work or extra work in the second quarter of 2018.

At the end of June 2018, there were 288 000 people receiving unemployment benefit from the UWV. That is a drop of more than 84 000 compared with the previous year. In all occupational groups the number of unemployment benefit recipients has fallen over the last 12 months. The sharpest decline can be seen in the area of technical occupations (30.5 %) and occupations in the transport and logistics sector (30.6 %). However, the situation on the labour market is not yet favourable for everyone. At the end of June 2018, almost 94 000 people had been receiving unemployment benefit for a year or more, with over three quarters of this group aged 50 or above. Being in a higher age bracket is an obstacle to finding work again after a period of unemployment.


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