More people have jobs and the unemployment rate continues to fall

Jobs

The number of people aged between 15 and 75 in paid employment in the Netherlands has increased by an average of 21,000 a month for the past three months, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. In September more than 8.6 million had a paid job while a further 4.3 million were not working. Of them, 422,000 were officially classed as unemployed. The shift means the official Dutch unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in September, down from 5.7% a year ago and 4.9% on the previous quarter. The figures do not include people with part time jobs who would like to work more hours. At the same time, 351,000 people were claiming unemployment benefit (ww), a drop of 11,000 on the second quarter of this year.  More >


Lack of care workers puts patients at risk

Jobs The new government needs to come up with an emergency plan to tackle the lack of care professionals, which is causing high levels of work stress and is putting patients at risk, nurses’ association V&VN warns. A survey by the association among 17,000 nurses and care workers shows 85% of care staff have to cope with fewer colleagues or work extra shifts. ‘Sometimes one person has to look after 81 patients, irresponsible’, wrote one of the respondents. Another said ‘I am afraid to make mistakes. At the end of a busy day I don’t know whether I may have forgotten something.’ Over three-quarters of the respondents said the lack of staff is directly influencing their health and personal lives while almost half said patient safety is at risk. One in ten people working in care is considering leaving the profession. Make caring more attractive Better pay, better basic contracts for young nurses and care staff, and less administrative and cleaning tasks are among the options nurses say will do much to make caring a more attractive career choice, V&VN claims. ‘It is very important that managers and administrators listen to what care workers have to say,’ V&VN director Sonja Kersten said. ‘The signals about work pressure are alarming. We are in dire need of new staff. But there are things that can be done now, such as giving people more financial security and improving people’s work schedules.’ According to the V&VN, an increasingly elderly population, changes in the care system and new quality norms in care home nursing mean some 125,000 care professionals will be needed up to 2025. This is on top of the thousands of vacancies already unfilled.  More >


25% rise in people doing two jobs

Jobs Some 600,000 people in the Netherlands have two jobs, mainly because they can't make ends meet with one or because they want to do something else as well, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday. The number of dual job holders has risen by 25% over the past 10 years and they now account for one in 14 of the Dutch working population, the CBS said. Artists, sports men and women, and other people involved in the cultural and recreation sector are most likely to do two jobs while builders and people working in finance services are least likely to do so. Women and youngsters are more likely than older men to have more than one employer. Most of those with two formal jobs say they need the money to survive. But even with two jobs, they only manage to drum up an average of 29 hours of work a week, the CBS said. Freelancers who also have a part-time job account for around 40% of the total.  More >


Children less likely for flex-work women

Jobs Women with flexible jobs are likely to have children later than those who are on staff, according to a report from the CBS Dutch statistics office. The report studied 25,000 childless 18 to 45-year-old women with a partner between 2003 and 2015, to explore the relationship between flexible work and family patterns. It analysed their chances of having a baby within a year, breaking these statistics down into averages for women with flexible contracts, staff jobs, working freelance and without paid jobs. It found that young couples were apparently more likely to go for children earlier with the security of the female partner in fixed-contract work. Security Women without paid work were most likely to give birth, with a 19% chance of having a child within a year – but staffers were almost as likely to start a family (18%). Freelancers had a 17% chance of giving birth, while those on flexible contracts were least likely to do so (13%). The report, commissioned by the social affairs department, found no relation between the working patterns of the male partners and chances of children. It found differences in the education levels of women, with the highly-educated more likely to have children when working on staff or freelance. The number of people with flexible jobs is increasing, while the birth rate has dropped in the past decade, and the study says that policy makers will have to respond to the implications of this. Uncertain income, reports the Volkskrant, could lead to putting off children.  More >


Wages can go up says employers chief

Jobs The Netherlands biggest employers organisation VNO-NCW sees potential for an average 3% pay rise next year, chairman Hans de Boer told Radio 1. ‘It is always wise to let wages rise in line with economic growth, around 3% as the [central] bank indicated,’ De Boer is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS. ‘But there are always companies which are not doing as well, and they should be left out. One sector can deal with more than another. So the sectors and unions will have to talk to each other.’ The central both and prime minister Mark Rutte have both indicated that they consider the time is right for pay rises and the FNV trade union federation said last weekend it is aiming for an average 3.5% rise in the coming pay negotiation round. A wage rise will be good for domestic spending which in turn is good for the economy, De Boer said. NOS points out that in June, De Boer criticised central bank chief Klaas Knot for calling for higher wages. Instead, taxes should be cut, De Boer said.   More >