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Excerpted from the Netherlands Career Guide

General Trends

The Netherlands is Europe’s fourth-most prosperous country,with a per capita GDP (a measure of a country’s wealth) of more than 43,000 USD. The Netherlands' economy is the sixth largest in the Eurozone and is notable for economic and social stability, with historically moderate unemployment and inflation.

The Dutch economy is showing slight growth since last year. Exports are largely responsible for that growth. Another positive sign is the drop in unemployment in the past year, now down to 6.5 percent. That number is well below the EU average of 11.8 percent. Youth unemployment in the Netherlands is a good deal higher at 9.8 percent, but that doesn’t compare with Greece and Spain, where more than half of those countries’ youth are without jobs.

Employment Outlook

Unemployment is down in the Netherlands, though not at pre-crisis levels. Job losses have been most severe in construction, real estate and finance, and are a reflection of the country’s weak economic outlook, according to the OECD. But in spite of the current situation there, the labor market is secure, and the quality of jobs is high.

Areas of Job Promise

Health Care: The Netherlands is experiencing shortages of personal care workers, nurses, midwives and medical doctors.

Information Technology: IT is the fastest-growing profession in Europe and is seeing especially strong growth in the Netherlands. The greatest need is for software and applications developers and analysts.


Salaries for Dutch workers have not increased in the last year. In fact, in some sectors, such as finance, salaries dropped from the previous year. The lowest paid workers are those in tourism and hospitality. The gender pay gap continues, with women typically earning less than men.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Netherlands Guide.

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