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2,5 million Europeans choose Amsterdam

The Amsterdam region has an excellent business climate for companies. After all, the Netherlands has high-quality infrastructure (Schiphol, roads, Internet), is centrally located, has an attractive tax climate, little corruption, an efficient banking system, and is very safe. In recent years, many international companies have settled in the Netherlands, and more than 150 in the Amsterdam region alone. Within the context of Brexit, this number is expected to grow rapidly. The question then is: is Amsterdam also attractive for international talent when it comes to working and living there?

Among European talent, Amsterdam is fairly popular: about 2.5 million Europeans opt to live and work in the Dutch capital. According to data from the Global Talent Acquisition Monitor (GTAM), Amsterdam is in 13th place and relatively popular in large parts of Europe. In 2018, 153 foreign companies opened new offices in the Amsterdam region. 28 of them did so because of Brexit. This figure does not only include British companies, but also other international companies opting for Amsterdam instead of the United Kingdom. 'Of course, the decision by international companies to relocate to Amsterdam is a boost to our economy, but it is not necessarily the obvious choice; competition from cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Berlin is very strong,' says Alderman Udo Kock (Economic Affairs).

New Jobs

The arrival of 153 companies to the Amsterdam region will create 4,170 additional jobs in the coming year. Naturally, the municipality is happy about these developments. Alderman Udo Kock: 'Amsterdam is a magnet for international companies. The economic prosperity and favourable Amsterdam business climate, Schiphol, its location in Europe, innovation strength, and the availability of talent ensure record figures of over 7,000 new jobs. Of course, Brexit and the consequent arrival of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) contribute to this strong job growth.' Most companies come from the Life Sciences & Health, ICT, and Creative Industry sectors. As demonstrated by the GTAM figures, this largely corresponds with the preferred sectors of people who would like to work in Amsterdam and is in line with their educational background.

Improve economic situation

If you want to attract European talent as an Amsterdam-based company, it is important to determine this group's specific needs when it comes to choosing a job or city. European talent primarily opts for Amsterdam in order to broaden their horizons. And there are a number of other noteworthy reasons: meeting new people, gaining more work experience, and starting an international career. More than a quarter (27%) of the people who want to work in Amsterdam also mention that the economic situation in their home country is one of the reasons to relocate abroad. This is considerably more than average (20%) for Europeans who wish to work abroad. This reason is mainly cited by people from Italy, Spain, and Ukraine.

Relocating to Amsterdam

Some 40% of Europeans who would like to work in Amsterdam would voluntarily choose to emigrate. The majority (60%) would prefer to live and work in Amsterdam for three years or longer. Because of Brexit, there are also several forced company relocations, which has a significant impact on their staff. For instance, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be moving to Amsterdam in April 2019. As a result, 900 highly educated employees must also relocate with their families. In the case of the EMA, the Dutch government will provide assistance to ensure relocation goes smoothly—also in terms of housing, schools, language, and healthcare. Our research shows that Europeans who wish to live and work in Amsterdam would first like to acquire more information about housing. In addition, the standard of living, ability to learn the language, and the social environment are also important points.

Particularly striking is that international talent moving to Amsterdam has a relatively broad definition of travel time. For instance, a one-way home-work trip of over 90 minutes is quite normal in London. In other words, when relocating to the Netherlands to work in Amsterdam, one could easily live in Bergen aan Zee or Wassenaar, where international schools are also located.

Looking for greater insight into labour market data?

Interested in smarter international recruitment using the European Recruitment Dashboard? This dashboard gives you access to data from 28 countries in Europe, concerning 500 professional groups. It will empower you to develop and fine-tune your recruitment strategy in the European labour market. The data we use comes from our very own European job-market study: The Global Talent Acquisition Monitor (GTAM) and from Jobfeed by Textkernel. If you are interested in more information about this dashboard, please contact us to request a demo. 

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