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"Over 7,000 jobs to disappear in Dutch agriculture and horticulture"

It is expected that more than 7,000 full-time jobs will be disappearing in the Dutch agricultural and horticultural sector between 2016 and 2020. Employment is declining especially in the ag sector. On the other hand, there will be more opportunities for gardeners and growers.

Less and less agricultural entrepreneurs
The number of jobs has been falling throughout the agricultural and horticultural sector for years. This is mainly because employment for agricultural entrepreneurs and family workers decreased by almost 40% since 2000. This represents a loss of 51,000 full-time jobs. The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) predicts a further decline of 6% up to 2020.

The employment of permanent employees has also been decreasing for years. The number of full-time jobs for employees is expected to drop by 3% between 2016 and 2020. Declining employment is partly the result of upscaling: the sector has been producing more and more with less labor due to mechanization and technological developments.

Opportunities for gardeners and growers
The demand for growers and gardeners is growing rapidly. More new houses are being built and people are having the construction and maintenance of the garden done by a landscaping company more and more. In high season there is even a shortage of gardeners. This also applies to cultivation specialists like flower bulb growers. This results in more opportunities to find employment in these occupations for school leavers and the unemployed.

Use of flexible workers due to much seasonal work
Although the number of permanent jobs is dropping, the use of flexible workers in agriculture and horticulture has actually increased in recent years. As of 2000, the number of flexible workers increased by 90%. Currently nearly a fifth of employment in the agricultural sector consists of flexible workers. Half the agricultural companies have temporary employees. These are often seasonal workers who, for example, temporarily help with the harvest.

Increasing unemployment benefits due to seasonal unemployment
Due to the many seasonal jobs, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the agricultural and horticultural sector considerably increases during the winter months. For many workers there is no work in this period so there is a greater occurrence of unemployment in agricultural professions. In spring and summer the demand for employees rises again. This is why agricultural workers on employment benefits find work easier that unemployed workers in other sectors.
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