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Lower proportion of middle-skilled jobs most visible in Randstad

08 November 2017

The Randstad, that part of the Netherlands around The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam, is seeing a decline in the employment share of middle-skilled jobs and an increase in the shares of low- and high-skilled jobs. This ‘polarization’ of the job market is mainly a factor in the Randstad cities but also plays a role in some of the peripheral regions like Groningen and Friesland. This has been revealed by research on ‘Employment Polarization in Local Labor Markets’ conducted by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and PhD student Nikolaos Terzides of the University of Groningen.

Employment polarization in local labor markets: the Dutch case. Source: CPB
Employment polarization in local labor markets: the Dutch case. Source: CPB

Until now, little was known about the regional differences in the decrease in jobs, which is why the CPB and the University of Groningen initiated the research. They also investigated the reasons behind the increasing polarization trend, which mainly appears to be the result of technological advances. The share of jobs that consist of routine tasks has decreased in recent years while the share of jobs in professions requiring a high level of analytical or communication skills is growing. The decline in the share of jobs in between is limited in the Netherlands when compared with other countries, however, a conclusion of earlier research by the CPB in 2015: ‘Baanpolarisatie in Nederland’ [Job polarization in the Netherlands].

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