Study shows substantial income loss for many Dutch people due to the pandemic
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, some 190,000 working Dutch people have suffered a sharp decrease in income, according to economists at ABN Amro. People who already have low incomes, such as those with flexible employment contracts and young people, suddenly had to make ends meet with hundreds of euros less each month.
The study looked at anonymized data from hundreds of thousands of ABN Amro customers. It showed that in the period from March 2020 to February of this year, 16.3 percent of employed people saw their income decrease by at least 10 percent. The year before, from March 2019 to February 2020, this figure was 14 percent.
"Every year, people's incomes can fluctuate. That can also be because people choose to work part-time, for example," says ABN Amro Chief Economist Sandra Phlippen. According to her, 190,000 people is a conservative estimate.
The average decline was 40 percent of net income or 870 euros per month. This study did not identify which sectors were impacted the most. What is clear is that many temporary workers suffered; Especially those with a monthly income of up to 1,800 euros net were more likely to be impacted during the coronavirus crisis.
Phlippen believes the figures show that the crisis deepened existing problems within the Dutch labor market. She points out that despite the massive coronavirus support from the Cabinet, the negative financial consequences still affected vulnerable people the most. "Among developed economies, we were already the country with the largest gap in economic security because of how many people work without a fixed contract. This gap has widened during the pandemic," the economist argues.
Phlippen cannot say speak on how people who suffered income loss are doing today. The bank is currently still investigating this using the anonymized data. It is possible that the temporary workers who suddenly lost their jobs last year were the first to start working again this year as the coronavirus measures relaxed. One such example is the hospitality industry, where many new workers have been hired again recently.
Reporting by ANP