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Dutch labour market shortages growing challenge for employers

The unemployment rate in The Netherlands is at the lowest level in EU and vacancy rate is at the highest, turning into threats for business growth. Labour shortage is now a challenge for 25% of employers – 8 times higher than in 2015 – but for the majority of jobseekers it is still difficult or very difficult to find a job (58%).

With a local total workforce of 9.2 million people and an unemployment rate at just 3.3%, equaling 319.000 people (source: CBS, Q2 2019), the labour market in the Netherlands is one of the most developed in the EU and even in the world. But, following the key findings emerging from a detailed research conducted by Jobrapido with Intelligence Group about the Dutch labour scenario and the jobseekers’ insight on the actual job search, what should be considered to be an advantage can in fact turn into a threat that challenges companies, our economy and also people to grow.

Findings about the Dutch labour market

The findings come from a parallel research conducted by Jobrapido, one of the world’s largest job search engines with 1 million registered users in the Netherlands, in cooperation with Intelligence Group, the renowned Dutch business investigation and intelligence firm, to provide a snapshot of the recent labour scenario in the Netherlands taking in consideration also the actual job seekers behavior.

The low unemployment rate in the Netherlands, combined with one of the highest vacancy rates in EU (3.4 compared with an average 2.3 (source: Eurostat)) is in fact turning into a high vacancy pressure and consequently in a growing challenge for companies: labour shortage. Increasingly more businesses are facing limitations to their growth due to this phenomenon. According to Intelligence Group data 25% of employers in Q3 of 2019 experienced obstruction in production or other activities due to the difficulty of finding qualified workers.

Surprisingly, on the other hand, despite of low unemployment rates and difficulties to find the talent companies need to grow, research by Jobrapido among Dutch job seekers reveals that the majority of respondents (58%) think that finding a job in the Netherlands is still difficult (39%) or very difficult (19%).

And that’s regardless of the fact that Dutch job seekers prove to be flexible, as 90% affirms to be available to travel for work (81% up to 50 km), 73% is available to accept a job even if it is under his or her current job level, and 1 over 3 of the majority that are willing to do courses to improve their chance to get new job would pay for an educational course to enhance their career opportunities.

The labour shortage and vacancy pressure in The Netherlands

The data gathered over the past year reflects this situation of a very heated labour market, from both an employer and an employee perspective.

Gijs de Haas van Dorsser, CEO of Intelligence Group says: “We see a particularly high peak in vacancy pressure in some industry and areas of the Netherlands. High vacancy pressure can be a huge problem for organizations, as it prevents growth and business opportunities. We are seeing this especially in Utrecht province and among the major cities, such as Utrecht, Eindhoven, Rotterdam but even in Amsterdam, where supply and demand are generally the highest.

Research data attests the labour shortage is a figure that has grown over the past 5 years, starting from just 3% in 2015 and with two major spurts in 2017 and late 2018. Now it looks stabilized on a very high level with one company out of four experiencing this issue. Industries like Rental and other Business Services (42%), Transport and Storage (32%) and Information and Communication (31%) are those impacted the most by shortage of labour.

Vacancy pressure, on the other hand, is the ratio of one person looking for a job compared to the amount of related specific vacancies.

In terms of occupational fields, the most impacted from the highest vacancy pressure level are Installation, Repair and Maintenance (14:1), Engineering (8:1), Construction and Mineral Extraction (7:1), Transport and Transportation (4:1) and Production (4:1).The occupations most in demand, such as Customer Service Representative and Production employee also show a vacancy pressure of 5:2 while Service Engineer, Truck Driver and Warehouse Worker a worrying vacancy pressure of 5:1.

From a regional perspective, the vacancy pressure is the highest in province Utrecht with a pressure of 5:1. This means that there are 5 vacancies available for one active jobseeker. Noord-Holland has a pressure of 4:1, which is still a huge scarcity. The same goes for Noord-Brabant and Gelderland, with a 4:1 ratio.

Dutch labour market: more insights?

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