SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – There are now officially more vacancies than people to fill them and pressure on the economy is mounting, jobs agency UWV has said in its latest labour market monitor.
The number of vacancies grew by 44% in the second quarter compared to last year while the number of short term unemployed fell by 31%. The tight labour market is affecting all professions, with 75% experiencing extreme staff shortages.
Engineers, nurses, electricians, technicians and software developers head the list, the UWV said. The public is already experiencing the consequences of the lack of workers as railway operator NS cuts service and Schiphol waiting times mount.
Parents are confronted with teacher shortages and lack of care staff at hospitals is impacting patients, labour market advisor Frank Verduijn said. ‘For the longest time the economy has determined what happens in the labour market.
Because of the extremely tight labour market that seems to have been partly reversed,’ he said.
The lack of available workers is a result of a number of factors, including an ageing population, the number of part-time workers in the Netherlands, the coronavirus crisis, and the perceived unattractive working conditions in some of the affected sectors.
Simply offering a higher salary is no longer enough, Verduijn said. ‘Holding on to staff, by offering them opportunities to develop through training and making sure working conditions are suited to workers’ needs, is now more important than ever,’ Verduijn said.
Employers should also revise their recruitment processes and, for some jobs, look at a candidates’ likely ability to pick up skills as they work, rather than their diplomas.