Due to the government's support policy, employment will decline much less this year than was expected, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) said on Monday.

Because the economy is gradually opening up, employment will even increase at first.

A decline is expected to set in towards the end of government support.

Employment in persons is expected to fall by 0.2 percent in 2021.

The contraction is mainly caused by the fact that, according to DNB, it is inevitable that companies will go bankrupt if government support measures are phased out.

DNB estimates that the government will phase out support after the third quarter.

The employment contraction is much smaller than DNB previously expected.

In December, DNB predicted a contraction of 0.9 percent in 2021. The decline cannot be compared with that during the financial crisis in 2009 when employment fell by 0.8 percent.

In 2012, during the debt crisis, this was a decrease of 1.1 percent.

Flex workers are likely to be particularly affected by the decline in employment, said DNB Director of Monetary Affairs and Financial Stability Olaf Sleijpen on Monday.

"Relatively many flex workers work in the sectors that have been hit by the corona crisis. But we expect that if employment picks up again, they will also be the first to be hired again."

Employment is expected to grow by 0.6 percent in 2022 and 1.4 percent in 2023.

Unemployment continues to rise

DNB does expect unemployment to rise in 2022.

The central bank expects an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.

That is a relatively large increase compared to this year.

This is mainly because many people are expected to start looking for a job again.

A person is unemployed if he can and wants to work but cannot find a job.

During the corona crisis, many unemployed people stopped looking for a job because they thought the chance of work was small.

Unemployment decreased because this group was no longer included.

DNB expects the group of discouraged unemployed to re-enter the labor market in 2022.

As a result, the number of people looking for a job is growing faster than employment and unemployment is rising to 4.5 percent.

In 2023, this movement will be reversed and employment growth will exceed the labor supply.

As a result, unemployment will fall to 4.1 percent.