Large staff shortages lingering everywhere in the Netherlands

The extremely overheated labor market cooled down slightly in the first quarter of this year, but is still “particularly tight,” benefits agency UWV said after conducting a study. In most regions and professions there are still large staff shortages, the agency concluded this week.

The lack of employees is a major problem, especially in the retail sector. “Revenue is in jeopardy and shops are adjusting their opening hours to overcome staff shortages. But here too the worst shortage seems to be behind us,” said the UWV.

In the first quarter, the sector had approximately 48,000 unfilled vacancies. That is 53 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2019, the period before the coronavirus pandemic.

After the coronavirus years, the shortage increased considerably in a short time. Companies started looking for employees en masse. But retail proved difficult to compete on salary with other industries. The shortage has now spread “widely” across the sector.

“There are currently shortages in almost all segments within the retail sector, such as hardware stores, clothing stores and supermarkets.”

Due to the large shortages, shopkeepers are increasingly trying to fill their vacancies with people over 55, people with an occupational disability, foreign students and Ukrainians who have relocated to the Netherlands. These are professions that used to be mainly used by students.

Reporting by ANP

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