Benefits agency: Labor market recovery in progress

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The number of jobs filled in the Netherlands will increase for the first time in three years in 2015, according to benefits agency UWV. It is a sign the economic recovery is beginning to take hold in the workforce, which will develop even further next year when growth in the labor market should increase further, UWV says.

The number of unemployment benefits should decrease slightly after several years of growth, with a simultaneous rise in the number of available job vacancies. The job market will then continue to improve across most industries, except in health, welfare, financial services and public administration, the agency speculates.

At the end of 2014, UWV paid out around 441,000 unemployment benefits. UWV forecasts that the number will decline by 20,000 this year. A similar decline is expected for 2016. UWV predicts the strongest decline in the 15-to-34 age group. The amount of benefits for those aged 55 and above is to increase slightly in 2015, but is expected to drop next year.

UWV expects the number of jobs to rise by 38 thousand, although the provinces of Groningen and Limburg will fall behind the rest of the country in employment growth. Such development is due to stagnant population growth in those regions. In the Achterhoek, the eastern most part of Gelderland, a contraction in employment in the next two years is predicted.

A sharp decline of around 2.5 percent is expected in agriculture and financial service vacancies. In the latter, the drop is due to a reduction in the role of the middle management.

In total, UWV expects 779 thousand jobs to appear in the economy in 2015 and 850 thousand in 2016.