Labour market continues to flourish
The job market seemed to be turning toward the end of last year, but so far this does not seem to be the case. The number of employment opportunities are at an all-time high, the unemployment rate is at an all-time low and the scarcity is high. Nevertheless, there are some figures that indicate a cool-down.
• The labour market activity, the extent to which the Dutch working population is actively seeking a job, has risen (+11,000) in comparison to last quarter. Compared to the same quarter in 2018, we see a slight decrease (-7,000). In total, one in every eight (12.5) within the Dutch working population is actively searching for a new job. The number of latent job seekers has also grown. The labour supply has risen.
• The increasing activity and employment opportunities also directly translates to the number of job changes: 19.5% of the working population found a different/new job. An increase of 13,000 in comparison to 3Q of 2019 and an increase of 33.000 in comparison to Q4 of 2018.
• Sourcing pressure has declined in comparison to Q3 (from 32.5% to 31.7%). However, when comparing the statistics to those of Q4 in 2018 (31%), we see a small rise. Nearly one in every three members of the working population is at least reached out to once every quarter by a potential employer or job agency. The pressure to source is one of the most important indicators of scarcity in the Dutch job market.
• Though unemployment saw a rise from April until November, it recorded a sudden drop in December of 2019. The unemployment rate is historically low with only 3.2%. It of course remains to be seen whether this decline will end the recent trend. The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analyses (CPB) foresees a slight increase of the unemployment rate (3.6%) for 2020.
• The expected search duration for a new job is right around 4 months. This number is based on the period of time that job seekers themselves feel like they need in order to find a new job. This can be seen as the trust indicator of employees in the job market.
• More flex-workers currently expect to be offered a permanent contract toward the end of their flexible contract. In the fourth quarter of 2019, this number has risen to 39.1%. The number of new workers that are immediately offered a new, permanent deal has dropped, however. When looking at the numbers in recent years, though, it is still relatively high at 37.8%. With the introduction of the Balanced Labour Market Act, it is interesting to see how the numbers within this area will respond in 2020. The effects remain unclear, so it is definitely something to pay attention to.
• Beyond a lot of positive signs, from a broader economic perspective we see that a few numbers have declined when it comes to confidence and mood indicators. The vacancy indicator, the number of temporary work hours, the consumer and producer confidence, the purchasers’ managing index (PMI), and the vacancy indicator have all registered drops. With a widely-expected economic cool-down (both on a national and international level), it is reason for the Intelligence Group forecast models to predict a decrease in the number of vacancies and the growth of the economy in 2020.
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Note: As a result of the improvement in the way our research is measured, and a correction in the derivation of the educational level of people by the CBS, we have retroactively revised all historical figures on this page. Figures may therefore slightly deviate from figures in earlier publications.