More and more companies are struggling with a shortage of personnel, the UWV has noticed.

Rob Witjes is a labor market expert at the benefits agency and argues that the shortage can slow down economic recovery.

"I am positive about the recovery of the economy, but we are entering the summer holidays with doubts."

On Thursday, it turned out that unemployment in the Netherlands is almost at the level of before the corona crisis.

That is of course good news.

But at the same time, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find new staff, not only in sectors that have always had shortages, such as IT and education, but also in, for example, inland shipping and retail.

"That can create an obstacle to the further recovery of the economy," said Witjes.

"Companies may be restricted in their activities. For example, they can decide to only open four days a week, instead of five. It also forces employers to be less demanding. You may now need to hire someone who can does not yet have the desired diploma, but you can train him or her internally."

Corona support package prevented many layoffs

Still, Witjes is positive about how the economy has recovered from the blow of the lockdown in recent months.

"The government's support package, such as wage support and the deferral of tax payments, has worked well. It has prevented many layoffs. Entrepreneurs have also been creative, for example in the catering industry, with the delivery of meals."

"We see that the number of companies requesting support from the government is significantly smaller than when the pandemic broke out in the spring of 2020. This indicates that many companies have now got their affairs in order and that our economy is very resilient. "

Unemployment will rise

This does not alter the fact that unemployment will probably still rise later this year and especially next year, thinks Witjes. This is because the cabinet plans to end the corona support package for companies at the end of September. It is expected that after that some of the companies will go bankrupt or at least have to reorganize. "Compare it with working out an anesthetic after an operation. Then there will also be after-pains. They will also come now."

There is also the psychological factor. "What will people do if unemployment rises and there are many infections with the delta variant? And what if the cabinet introduces stricter restrictions again if the number of infections becomes too high? I can imagine that consumers and companies will then become more careful with their spending. As a result, there are still some question marks on the economic horizon."