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The Netherlands – Staffing market expected to shrink as temporary billings drop

21 February 2012

The staffing market in the Netherlands, the fourth largest in Europe, has been hit by the economic downturn and a report published today by the Dutch bank, ING, forecasts a decline of revenues by -5% for the coming year as temporary billings are also reported to have dropped sharply in January.

The report claims that revenues will not only fall by -5% but that the staffing industry will also record a decrease of hours billed in 2012, which is the “fourth consecutive year when the number of hours will stagnate.” And indeed today the association of employment agencies in the Netherlands (ABU) reported a -5% decrease of temporary hours billed in the month of January.  ABU also stated that revenues in the month fell by -3%, compared to the same period last year.

ABU reports that in the administration sector, the number of hours billed dropped by -1% although revenue in the sector remained the same as last year. In the industrial sector this figure also dropped by -7% while revenues went down by -6%. In the technical industry temporary billings went down by -2% while revenues have remained the same compared to the previous year. The industry that saw the sharpest decline in temporary hours billed was the medical sector which recorded a -15% decline and with sales dropping by -13%.

The ING study meanwhile suggests that although demand for agency workers in the technical industry is still high, this will not be able to compensate for the overall decline of the staffing market. Other than the technical industry, the only sector that is expected to grow this year is IT. Overall, the report suggests that the second half of the year should perform better than the first as the economy is predicted to recover again.

"The expected decrease in turnover in the [staffing] sector will force employment agencies to make clear decisions… in order to strengthen the company and the relationship with clients and temporary employees, [and] thereby to remain future-proof," commented Karin Radder, Manager at the Business Services Sector of ING.

Staffing Industry Analysts has published its own market forecast for 2012 regarding the Dutch staffing industry, which can be accessed here.

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