The Netherlands is a country with a major export sector, and has been for many centuries. The service industry makes up about 80 per cent of the Dutch economy and labour market. Whilst most employment is found in this sector, which includes activities such as banking and tourism, the country also has a strong manufacturing sector related to food, chemicals and electronics amongst others. The country is characterised by a strong vocational education and training system that is seen to support its industrial base.
Looking to the future, employment levels in the Netherlands are expected to pass their pre-2008 financial crisis levels by 2019/20 and continue to rise thereafter. Most employment growth will be in the business and other services sector and the transport and distribution sector, with most job opportunities created for professionals.
Over the period to 2025, the Netherlands is forecast to see an increase in demand for high- and medium-skilled workers, whilst demand for low-skilled workers is set to decrease. In the same period, the share of the Netherlands’ labour force with high level qualifications is projected to increase, whilst the share of workers with medium, low or no qualifications is expected to decrease.
The Netherlands’ working-age population (15-64) is projected to grow over the period to 2025, with labour market participation falling. Looking to the longer-term future, the Netherlands is expected to have an old-age dependency ratio close to the EU average.