Police service beats army to become the country’s biggest employer

The police service has overtaken the armed forces as the Netherlands’ biggest employer, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

The ‘strong arm of the law’ now employs 63,778 people, after growing by 500 full-time jobs last year, the Volkskrant research shows. By contrast, the armed forces have lost 1,800 jobs due to government cutbacks and have a workforce of 61,749.

Next on the list is Rabobank with over 41,000 jobs, followed by PostNL and airline KLM. All three companies are in the process of reducing their workforces. Ahold, the tax office, ING, Dutch railway group NS and nationalised bank ABN Amro complete the top 10.


The research shows the structural vulnerability of the Dutch jobs market, the paper says. Most jobs are to be found in the public sector, in banks, construction and retail, but these are all sectors which have been impacted by the economic crisis.

Sixty of the country’s top 100 employers cut their workforces last year. In total 8,000 out of 950,000 jobs were lost. Although this represents just 0.8%, unemployment has actually risen more sharply in 2013, the paper points out.

Rabobank, the VDL group and Jumbo boosted their workforces but this was largely to due with takeovers, the Volkskrant says.

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