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Netherlands – Staffing industry still hit by lower demand

11 June 2013

The Dutch staffing market continued to contract between April and May with demand for agency workers falling in key sectors, according to research published today by the Dutch federation of private employment agencies (ABU).

ABU has 400 members and represents more than 60% of the market, making it the largest employers’ association in the temporary agency work sector in the Netherlands.

Their data shows that in period 5, covering calendar weeks 17 to 20, the total amount of hours worked by temporary workers dropped by -6%. Recruiters also reported lower revenue figures in the four-week period as turnover fell -4% when compared to a year ago.

The medical sector remained one of the worst hit industries with staffing companies reporting a -27% decline in turnover and a -33% fall in hours worked. In the administrative sector, turnover fell -3% while hours worked decreased -5%.

The figures also show a slowdown in the industrial sector where turnover was down -3% and hours -6% between April and May. There was no good news for the technical sector as turnover declined by -5% with hours dropping by -8%.

Large Dutch recruiters such as Randstad and USG People have reported difficult market conditions in the Netherlands as first-quarter sales suffered. Other markets in Europe, such as neighbouring Belgium, have also remained tough this year. Staffing Industry Analysts does not expect the Dutch staffing market to return to growth in 2013 with forecasts indicating a single-digit decline for 2013.

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