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The Netherlands—Country Workforce Profile

by Josje Dikkers & Esha Zaveri

November 2010—Low unemployment and inflation rates give the Netherlands the lowest score on the 2008 ‘misery index.’

  • Average hours worked by employees in their primary job (either full or part-time) was 30.6 hours compared to 33.7 hours in Denmark and 36.3 hours in Sweden (in 2009).
  • 59% of Dutch citizens were “satisfied” with their incomes, as of late 2008/early 2009. The satisfaction rate was higher among pensioners (71%), and substantially lower among benefit recipients younger than 65 years (28%).
  • Internationally, the Dutch take the lead in the amount of time they spend with their children. The time that parents devote to their children (aged up to five years) is almost 21 hours per week for women and 10 hours per week for men, but is increasing.

However, among working women:

  • 56% regularly feel rushed, and many, (31%) think they fall short on the “home front.”

Since 2008 the global financial crisis has hit the Netherlands, the 16th largest economy in the world, hard. GDP grew by 1.9% in 2008 but declined by 4% in 2009. The economy is making a slow recovery in 2010, however with an estimated growth rate of 1.25%. Dutch debt has begun to rise since 2007.

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