15 February 2022, by Victoria Séveno

In spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and various socio-economic restrictions put in place by the Dutch government, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the Dutch economy experienced record growth in the last quarter of 2021, while the national unemployment rate continued to fall. 

Dutch economy grew by 4,8 percent in 2021

According to preliminary figures from CBS, the Dutch economy grew by a whopping 4,8 percent in 2021 – the highest figure recorded by the statistics office since 1998. While the growth did taper off slightly in the fourth quarter as a result of the various lockdown restrictions, CBS notes that this significant growth is the result of the economy bouncing back after the initial blow of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. 

Last year, Dutch exports of goods and services were 7 percent higher than in 2020, and imports were 5,4 percent higher. Consumer spending also increased, with CBS reporting that most money was spent on housing, clothing, healthcare, and hospitality. Meanwhile, government consumption grew by 4,3 percent compared to 2020. 

Unsurprisingly, economic growth was not equal across all industries, with CBS noting that the recovery experienced by the hospitality and cultural industries in 2021 was not enough to offset the losses of 2020. 

Labour shortage continues as jobs outnumber unemployed

For several months now, the Netherlands has faced a growing labour crisis, with the number of job vacancies vastly outnumbering the number of unemployed people. New figures from CBS show that this trend continued into the final months of last year, with the national unemployment rate falling to 3,8 percent – the lowest figure recorded since 2003. 

Using a new method to calculate the number of unemployed people in the Netherlands, CBS reports that at the end of December there were 387.000 vacancies across the Netherlands, while there were 370.000 people looking for a job, equating to 105 vacancies for every 100 unemployed people. 

Under the previous method, CBS counted 126 vacancies for every 100 unemployed people at the end of the third quarter of 2021, but the new method puts this figure significantly lower, at just 93. The number of vacancies grew by 16.000, while the number of unemployed fell by 29.000 between September and December. 

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