Dutch jobs market is starting to overheat for first time since crisis

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There are so few candidates for every job vacancy in the Netherlands that there is talk of an ‘overheated labour market’ for the first time since the 2008 crisis, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

In its report on the final quarter of 2017, the CBS said that at the end of last year there were fewer than two (1.8) job seekers for every vacancy. Job numbers increased by 57,000 in the fourth quarter while vacancies were only 14,000 higher. The number of people without work declined by 29,000 the CBS said.

Last month, the state job centre UWV warned that the building, IT, transport and logistics sectors faced the largest shortages of staff. A full 60% of companies in the building sector are expecting problems in filling jobs this year.

But despite the shortage of job candidates, wages are not expected to rise very much, Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at the CBS told the Financieele Dagblad.

Nevertheless the CBS figures are good news for job seekers. Van Mulligen said those having jobs stood a good chance of improving their position through more attractive work or increased hours.

The number of jobs in the Netherlands has risen steadily for the past four years and now stands at 8.2 million, the highest since the crisis but still 10% lower than the all-time high in 2008.

Of the 500,000 jobs created in recent years, half are temporary, a sector which now accounts for 10% of total job numbers.

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