Wednesday 1 August 2012

Independents flood the NL labour market

Brace yourself for 9 years of labour population make up in the Netherlands. It's a long yet short story.
We Dutch have always been great entrepreneurs. Disregarding the consequences of our actions over the last centuries, and the actions themselves, objectively put we have left an enormous footprint in the world for such a small country

In the 1600’s the Dutch East India company was the largest private company in the world with 50,000 employees. We have been entrepreneurs ever since - although one would claim differentl;y given the figures of our labour population. Those have changed over the last decade, as you can see in the figures above

Over the last 9 years, people with a fixed contract, or perms, have grown 1.4% in total - that means, if there were 100 people in 2002 that were working the old-fashioned way, for a company, now there are 101.4 of those.
People that run their own business can be divided in two: those that just work for themselves, and those that have personnel. The latter made up 48% of those that were not, like the group mentioned above, "working for a boss" - they themselves were boss, yet had personnel. The other 52% were boss too, yet had no one to command, to put it nicely - they were a one-man army

Fast-forward 9 years: as said before, the increase in people working for a boss in the old-fashioned way, is 1.04%. Now let's look at the increase in independents (self-employed without personnel) and entrepreneurs (self-employed that employ others).
The definitions here are my own - there's a thin line between each of them anyway. Why do I make the distinction in this way? Because you're not somewhat of an entrepreneur, I think, if you employ yourself. But how should we then call those that start their own business and employ others?

So, entrepreneurs and independents it is then - feel free to disagree with me in the comment section

In 2002, there were 200 thousand entrepreneurs, and 214 thousand independents: by the way, I'm only counting commercial services here - I'll wrap up for totals at the end of this post.
Percentage-wise, those accounted for 6.9% respectively 7.3% of total workforce - and entrepreneurs made up 48% of non-perms

In 2010, there were 198 thousand entrepreneurs, and 302 thousand independents in commercial services.
Percentage-wise, those accounted for 6.5% respectively 9.9% of total workforce - and entrepreneurs made up 40% of non-perms

That is in relative figures. It's safe to say that "boss-less people" went from 14.2% to 16.5% of total work force, being a 16% increase - which is largely to attribute to lenient tax measures and facilitation by the Dutch Tax Office. It's also statistically safe to state that there was a 17-18% shift in entrepreneurs and independents over these 9 years

What is shocking, however, is the fact that perms in commercial services increased with 35k people over that same 9-year period, while entrepreneurs declined by 2k. Independents, or those without any personnel? They increased by 88k.
Eighty-eight thousand people, in 9 years time. Only less than 3% of total workforce active in commercial services, yet an increase of more than 40%

Overall, for the entire workforce of the Netherlands in between 2002 and 2010, payroll-less people went up from 12.4% to 14.6%. Of those, 60% were independents in 2002, and now in 2009 68% is.
Again, for the total workforce in NL, the number of independents increased by 40% - while the total workforce increased by les than 5.5 %

From where I stand, let me tell you that this movement is going to go forward. Why? I think change is making it so

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