Record number of vacancies as staff shortages in Netherlands grow
Staff shortages are becoming an increasing problem in the Netherlands. The number of open vacancies grew to a record high in the fourth quarter of 2021, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported. A record 356,000 vacancies were also filled - 26,000 more than in the third quarter.
At the end of December, there were 387,000 unfilled vacancies in the Netherlands - 105 vacancies per 100 unemployed. In the third quarter, there were 372,000 vacancies or 93 per 100 unemployed. As in previous quarters, most vacancies were in trade, business services, and care. Together, these three sectors account for half of the open vacancies.
A few sectors saw the number of vacancies decrease. This happened in hospitality, culture, and recreation. According to the stats office, the decrease is due to the lockdown implemented in the last weeks of December, closing these sectors.
At the end of December, 370,000 people in the Netherlands were unemployed, 29,000 fewer than the previous quarter. That is the lowest number of unemployed in the Netherlands since 2003. The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in December.
The number of employees with a permanent contract increased by 34,000 to 5.3 million - the highest since 2013. According to CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen, this clearly shows the storage in the labor market. "Coronavirus hardly had any effect on permanent contracts. The number of people with permanent jobs has been growing for some time. It may be a strategy of employers to bind people to them if higher wages are not an option. The risk is now limited for them too," he said, according to NOS.
The number of employees with a flexible contract also increased in the fourth quarter, by about 38,000 compared to the previous quarter.
Van Mulligen called the increasing staff shortages striking. "Over 70 percent of the Dutch population between 15 and 75 currently have paid work. That has never been so high, and it is higher every month. We will have to get used to it."