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Non-standard employment and mobility in the Netherlands

Dekker, Ronald (2007): Non-standard employment and mobility in the Netherlands.

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In the last 25 years the number of flexible jobs has been expanding in most European countries. For example, in the Netherlands in 1995, about 11 per cent of workers was working in a fixed-term temporary job and about 37 per cent of workers was working in a part-time job. Seven years later, in 2002 these percentages had increased to 14 per cent and 44 per cent. It should be noted however, that the increase in temporary jobs already reached 13 per cent in 1998 and is fairly stable since, whereas the percentage of part-time jobs is still increasing in 2002. For the purpose of this paper, the focus will be on several forms of contractual flexibilisation: temporary contracts , small part-time contracts , on-call and replacement contracts, casual and seasonal work and work with temporary work agencies. These jobs are all defined as non-standard employment.The labour market in the Netherlands is characterised by quite some mobility between the various labour market states. The high mobility rates between non-standard and standard jobs, except for the small jobs and on-call contracts as part of non-standard employment, provide arguments for defending the hypothesis that the Dutch labour market is not characterised by a clear-cut segmentation of non-standard and standard jobs. An important finding is that there is a high degree of path dependence in labour market transitions. Earlier experience in standard employment increases the transition probabilities into standard employment, both for the nonemployed and for non-standard workers. Earlier experience in either non-standard or non-standard employment also reduces the probability of ‘falling back’ into nonemployment. Previous unemployment does not reduce the chances of finding a job for the nonemployed but does reduce the chances of finding a standard job for non-standard workers.

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