CEIC News@lert: The European Debt Crisis set off one of the worst economic contraction in the continent since the World War II. The job markets in major European markets were hit hard and shrunk tremendously. In Netherlands, number of new job vacancies plummeted from 287,000 units in June 2008 to 169,000 units in March 2012. This indicates that firms are hiring less for both expansion and replacement of outgoing staff. On the other hand, unemployment escalated drastically a quarter later, resulting in a loss of 157,334 jobs by the first quarter of 2010. Although the worsening condition did ease a little after the first quarter of 2010, the employment market soured again in mid-year of 2011 as unemployment climbed to a new peak of 465,333 in the first quarter of 2012.
Nonetheless, the data revealed that rising unemployment saw rising incidences of self-employment among the Dutch labour force. Self-employment grew moderately between the last quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2010 with two significant dips within this period, followed by an average annualised growth rate of approximately 7.6% from the second quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2012. By the first quarter of 2012, self-employment has risen to 1.39 million units. This phenomenon could possibly be explained by A.R. Oxenfeldt’s refugee effect that outlined the relationship between unemployment and self-employment. This theory suggests that high number of unemployment could trigger a rise of entrepreneurship that lead to self-employment.
Self Employment & New Vacancies in Netherlands
Chart provided by: CEIC
“Culture, Recreation and Others” is the largest division in the self-employed segment, creating 408,000 jobs as of the first quarter of 2012 while number of self-employed jobs related to “Business Services” swelled to 210,000 units. Meanwhile, “Government and Care” sector that includes education as well as health and social work recorded 20.17% growth between the second quarter of 2008 and the first quarter in 2012. These sectors generally have low capital requirements and are therefore easier for self-employed individuals to start their endeavours. These data seem to suggest an upsurge of self-employment amidst the current financial turmoil.