Demand for migrant workers in Netherlands continues to rise

construction worker
. Construction Worker / Wikipedia

The demand for migrant workers in the Netherlands is already high and will only increase in the coming years, according to research by SEO Economic Research, commissioned by temporary employment agency ABU. This is especially true in agriculture and horticulture, business services, logistics, wholesale, the food industry and the metal industry, RTL Z reports.

Without migrant workers, companies will have to adjust, limit or move their production process because there are simply not enough people to fill the jobs, according to the researchers. The demand for migrant workers is expected to increase, as the Dutch workforce is expected to shrink from 2021 due to the aging population. Migrants are "simply needed to keep the working population up to standard", ABU director Jurrien Koops said, according to the broadcaster. 

In 2016 there were 371 thousand labor migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the Netherlands, half of whom worked as temporary employees. Together they filled 514 thousand jobs, about 1 in 20 jobs in the Netherlands. Eastern European migrant workers account for 3 percent of the total hours worked in the Netherlands. Yet they receive only 1.8 percent of the total wage bill, because they do mainly low-paid work.

The fear that migrants are taking jobs and homes from locals is unfounded, the researchers found. The work labor migrants perform in the Netherlands is "almost completely additional" to existing employees. The researchers spoke to five companies that employ a large number of migrant workers, and the companies confirmed this image. This is largely because migrant workers do mainly simple and routine production work, for which almost no Dutch forces can be found, according to the companies.

The temporary employment sector urgently calls on the government to provide more housing for migrant workers. According to ABU, there is currently a shortage of 100 thousand accommodation spaces for workers from Eastern Europe. If that problem is not solved it could negatively affect economic growth in some regions, ABU warns. 

 

Tags: