Too many vacancies, not enough candidates on Dutch labor market

The tension on the Dutch labor market reached a new peak in the first quarter of this year. The number of vacancies increased, while the number of unemployed declined, Statistics Netherlands reports. In the first quarter there were on average 88 vacancies per 100 unemployed, compared to 80 vacancies in the fourth quarter of last year.

The number of unemployed people decreased by 14 thousand compared to a quarter earlier, to 316 thousand unemployed people. That means that 3.4 percent of the working population were unemployed. "With this unemployment reached a lower level for the first time than the lowest point before the start of the crisis", the stats office said. In the last two quarters of 2008, unemployment stood at 3.6 percent.

The number of vacancies increased by 13 thousand to  new record number of 277 thousand. Vacancies increased in almost all sectors, with only financial services and the 'other services' sectors seeing a slight decrease. Trade saw the biggest increase in vacancies and now also has the highest number of open vacancies, an increase of 3 thousand to 56 thousand vacancies. 

In the first quarter of this year, there were a total of 316 thousand new vacancies and 302 thousand vacancies were filled, 5 thousand more than in the previous quarter. This is the highest number of vacancies ever filled in one quarter in the Netherlands. The first quarter also broke the record for the highest number of new vacancies. 

The total number of jobs grew by 53 thousand to 10,581,000 in the first quarter. That is 0.5 percent growth compared to the previous quarter, and 2.2 percent growth compared to the first quarter of last year.