While the spring started out positively for those working in the Netherlands, the summer season hasn’t seen the same level of positive returns over the past few weeks. Even though from May to July of this year, there was a substantial increase in the number of working-age people (9 million of ages 15 to 74), the progress has not only stalled, but has also started to decline with 4000 people per month being laid off since the start of July.
The age group hit the hardest within this decline has been young people aged 15 to 44. Overall it is estimated that there are 313,000 Dutch people currently looking for a job but unable to secure employment.
The proportion of unemployed people who are actively looking for work makes up just over 7.6% of the total unemployed population in the Netherlands. The large majority of people who are unemployed are not recognized within the majority of the available research based on the fact that they are either not actively looking to secure immediate employment, or are unable to work if given an immediate opportunity.
Labor statistics from the Netherlands are showing interesting patterns. While those aged 15 to 44 are seeing rates of unemployment rise, those over 45 are experiencing an even lower unemployment rate than seen last year. This pattern could be attributed to the fact that those over the age of 45 are seen to have more relatable and important business information, knowledge and skill sets than those who are younger. The more years spent solidifying capabilities within the workplace and organizations, the more those skill sets are seen as vital in the application process.
These statistics may be skewed based on both the fact that more young people are losing their jobs and that increasing numbers of previously unemployed people are looking for work again. What is important to recognize is that those that make up the statistics of the total unemployed population of the Netherlands is not actually representative of the unused labor potential of the country – as the total unemployed population also represents people who are not actively looking for work.
What does this mean for the future of the workforce in the Netherlands? With more 15-44-year-olds losing their jobs than previously measured, how is this setting up the country for future employment projections? Worldwide, we are seeing more Millennials and Generation Z workers switching jobs more frequently or taking up multiple positions in order to supplement both their incomes and their career prospects as greatly as possible. This begs the question of are younger employees really choosing to bounce around across a variety of different organizations throughout their careers? Or are they being preemptively penalized with employers assuming they will leave?
Unfortunately, only time will tell as more research and statistics become available on this growing trend across the world. In the meantime, we focus on the resilience and tenacity of the youngest generations in the workforce while they navigate tumultuous and unstable career prospects.