Whereas in recent months it was mainly employees with temporary or flex contracts that became unemployed, in the coming period permanent employees will increasingly need to be reorganized.

That is what UWV economist Rob Witjes expects.

"It will probably be a bleak winter on the labor market."

The layoffs at large Dutch companies followed each other in rapid succession last week.

Shell, ID&T, BAM and Jaarbeurs, among others, reported that they were cutting the workforce.

These will probably not be the last companies to implement significant cutbacks.

"At the UWV we saw at the outbreak of the corona crisis that flex workers and staff working on temporary contracts in particular were left at home," explains Witjes.

"Now we are increasingly seeing permanent salaried employees becoming unemployed."

The Central Planning Bureau recently predicted that unemployment would rise to 4.3 percent this year and rise further to 5.9 percent next year.

Moreover, this was a conservative estimate.

"If you start from these figures, it cannot be otherwise than that the permanent contracts also come into play. The longer the uncertainty lasts, the worse it is for companies. They come to the conclusion that cutting back on temporary contracts and flex workers is not enough. is. "

According to Witjes, that will not all happen in the coming weeks or months.

For some of the companies, this will not be the case until later.

Another factor is that the government's support measures have prevented many layoffs.

These measures will be gradually cut back in the coming months, which, according to the UWV economist, will have consequences for employment.

Working from home makes some functions redundant

He expects that large-scale working from home will also lead to changes in the labor market.

"I expect a rapid digitization by working from home at many companies. This will probably reduce the need for support functions at head offices."

He thinks of HR employees or administrative staff, for example.

The cutbacks in many industries are offset by sectors that are doing well, such as supermarkets, web shops, garden centers and courier companies.

"They are looking for staff. For people who have lost their jobs, there are certainly opportunities to get back to work."

Witjes therefore hopes that this crisis will make employees wonder whether they should receive further training or retraining.

"In the past, this often only happened when people had received their resignation letter. Hopefully that will change now and people will decide earlier to switch or broaden their opportunities on the labor market."

He thinks a good example is the switch that a sound engineer has made.

"He played at festivals in the past. But because there is hardly any work there now, he has retrained this year and now operates respiratory equipment."