Increase in youth minimum wage jobs

The number of minimum wage jobs rose slightly in the 2008-2012 period, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Mostly young people between 20 and 30 years of age are taking on these jobs. 

In 2012, 6.2 percent of all jobs in the Netherlands paid minimum wage, which amounts to 491 thousand jobs in total. This is slightly more than in 2008, when the figure was 5.9 percent.

It is especially young people aged 20-30 years who are taking on these minimum wage jobs, and the percentage has risen from 10 percent in 2008 to 12 percent in 2012. The number of employed young people dropped with 29 thousand, but the number of young people working for minimum wage increased with 31 thousand.

Young people also tend to work more part-time jobs or temp jobs than older age groups. Because these young people have little to no experience, they are more often consigned to these minimum wage jobs. This increase goes hand in hand with the deterioration of the job market for young people.

Jobs paying minimum wage are mainly in hotel and restaurant business, culture and recreation and business services. Hotel and restaurant businesses employ 13 percent in minimum wage. In the employment sector, minimum wage jobs are only 2 percent.

According to the CBS, women worked minimum wage jobs more often than men, with 5 percent against 7 respectively. The difference between male and female employees is the largest in transport and storage. In this branch sector, 12 percent of the jobs were minimum wage and went to women, against 5 percent for men. Male employees were higher in construction,  industry and energy, and building.