Nearly one in five employees are flex workers in the Netherlands

Nearly one in five employees are flex workers in the Netherlands

The number of flex workers is growing continually in the Netherlands. Between 2001 and 2011, the share of flex workers grew from 13 to 18 percent. Most flex workers are young. The economic situation strongly affects the number of flex workers according to Statistics Netherlands.

In the period 2004–2007, the economy boosted and the number of flex jobs grew substantially. The economy contracted in 2009 and the number of flex workers was reduced. When the economy is performing poorly, employees with flexible contracts are the first ones to lose their jobs, but the number of flex jobs declined less rapidly than in previous years.

There were more than 6.3 million employees in the Netherlands working at least twelve hours a week last year, of whom 18 percent had flexible employment contracts. In 2001, the share of flex workers was 13 percent.

The increase is mainly due to the share of employees with a temporary employment contract and prospect of a permanent employment contract with fixed working hours. In 2011, nearly 7 percent of employees versus 4 percent in 2001 found themselves in that situation. The share of on-call workers rose to 3 percent in 2011, but the share of temp workers has remained fairly stable at around 3 percent in 2001 as well as in 2011.

Most flex workers are young
The share of young people among flex workers has risen substantially from 35 percent in 2001 to 52 percent in 2011 in the age category 15–25. The share of flex workers also increased in the age category 25–35. More often than before, young people were working in on-call arrangements in 2011.

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