People from central and eastern Europe filled almost 5% of Dutch jobs in 2016, according to new research carried out for the employment agency umbrella organisation ABU.
Together, they contributed €11bn to the Netherlands national income and without their input, Dutch firms would be forced to move or adapt their operations, the research, by SEO Economisch Onderzoek, said.
Half of the 371,000 people from central and eastern Europe working in the Netherlands in 2016 were employed via staffing agencies.
‘The demand for more migrant labourers will only increase in the coming years,’ said ABU director Jurrien Koops. ‘This is due both to economic growth and the fact that the working population will shrink from 2021.’
In addition, migrant workers mainly do simple and routine jobs, which can’t be filled by Dutch workers, he said. ‘So we cannot talk of them taking Dutch jobs,’ Koops said. ‘Dutch workers simply don’t want to do such work given the pay and the flexibility which it demands.’
Nevertheless, efforts will need to be made to make sure the Netherlands remains attractive for seasonal and temporary workers, Koops said.