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Netherlands – Employment index down as employers remain cautious

14 March 2012

The Monster Employment Index for the Netherlands saw a further decline in online recruitment which in February dropped by -10% year-over-year. The only industries that showed positive annual growth included healthcare and social work (+12%), as well as education (+4%) while particularly the engineering sector (-5%) saw further reductions in online recruitment activity year-over-year.

Legal recruitment dropped very sharply by -20% and research & development did not fare much  better as hiring activity went down by -19%.

The index also highlights that elementary occupations maintained a positive growth track and grew by +8%, but managers experienced the greatest reduction in annual online recruitment of -20%. Other lowest growth occupations include agricultural, forestry and fishery workers as well as plant and machine operators.

“The contraction in online recruitment activity exhibited in this month’s Index is a further indicator of the uncertain economic outlook – companies’ investment in people slows down as growth expectations slow. Employees also tend to move less when the market is uncertain. Figures from the Dutch Centraal Planbureau forecast further GDP shrinkage through the first half of 2012 before slowly starting to grow again in 2013,” commented Warren Hammond, managing director of Monsterboard.nl.

“However, while employers continue to remain cautious in their approach to hiring, there are still industries such as healthcare and education that are experiencing recruitment growth year-over-year.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany continues to lead all countries in the Index, showing a strong annual growth of +28% while Sweden, Belgium and France saw negative growth rates in February. Environment, architecture, urbanism and repair showed +19% annual growth and tops engineering to become the top growth industry in February. Public sector, defence, community, which went down -8%, saw the largest annual decline in recruitment activity. Other sectors in Europe to report annual rates of decline include legal and management and consulting.

The Monster Employment Index monitors online job posting activities across Europe and is published on a monthly basis.

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