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It is often claimed that the labour market has undergone profound changes in the past decades. The growth of flexible labour, destruction of jobs due to new technologies, increased earnings dispersion and the rise of female labour participation are only a few of the many examples of changes on the labour market. In this paper, commissioned by the Dutch trade union FNV, we examine quantitative and qualitative changes on the Dutch labour market in the past half century, since the year 1969. We describe the evolution of the size of employment, measured in persons, jobs, full-time equivalents and hours worked, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the working-age population. We analyse qualitative changes by focusing on contract forms (permanent employment, temporary employment and self-employment) and on pay. Next, we try to explain the evolution over time from the impact of technological progress, variations in economic growth and policies (from the government as well as from social partners). We end with a decomposition analysis that attributes the change of employment to various explanatory factors. We conclude that the evolution of employment over the past half century is somewhat of an enigma and cannot be simply explained by the impact of economic growth, technological progress and policies.

Event details of Lunch seminar May 9, 2019, ‘Long-term labour market trends in the Netherlands’, Wieteke Conen and Paul de Beer
Date 9 May 2019
Time 12:00 -13:30
Organised by Nuria Ramos Martin