Net labour participation, 2018

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Net labour participation in the Netherlands rose slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year. Regional differences in labour participation are limited in general. Only municipalities in the provinces of Groningen, Zeeland and Zuid-Limburg have a relatively low labour participation rate.

Small increase in labour participation

The labour participation rate among 15 to 74-year-olds was 68 percent in 2018, a slight increase compared to 2017. This applies to both women and men. This rate was comparable with the rate in 2008, when net participation reached a high at 68 percent. After 2008, the participation rate dropped among men in particular. This decline was discontinued in 2014 while labour participation among women continued to fall at that time by one percentage point.

Of the four big cities, Utrecht has highest share of employed

Out of the four largest municipalities, Utrecht and Amsterdam have the highest net labour participation rates: 72 and 68 percent respectively. The share of employed people in The Hague and Rotterdam is significantly lower than the national average: 64 and 63 percent respectively of the people aged 15 to 74 years are in work.

Higher labour participation in central part of country

Labour participation is high particularly in the central part of the country, stretching from small municipalities in Zuid-Holland to the top of Overijssel. The rate is the lowest in municipalities in the eastern part of Groningen and in Zuid-Holland.


Relevant information

  • More information on the labour force can be found in CBS' database StatLine.

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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Net labour participation, 2018 (indicator 2099, version 10,

) Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.