June 29, 2009

Older men least likely to be fired

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:03 am

Men of age 45 and older are not sharing in the general economic downturn, reports Z24 (Dutch). To the contrary, in May of this year 9,000 more men of that age group were employed than in May 2008.

Statistics Netherlands economist Michiel Vergeer explains to the financial news site: “These are the people who have been in their jobs for a long time, you just cannot get rid of them. But once they have become unemployed, it becomes very difficult for them to find another job.”

In the Netherlands jobs are ‘protected,’ meaning that you have to get permission from a court to be able to fire somebody. Although mass lay-offs are possible, courts tend to spare older employees during such procedures. Unemployment has risen 8,000 from April to May, a number Vergeer calls “still modest.”

(Photo by Erich Ferdinand, some rights reserved.)

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January 14, 2009

Dutch to profit from German bailout plan

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:43 am

Angela Merkel’s 50 billion euro plan for propping up the German economy might very well benefit the Netherlands, Z24 analyst Mathijs Bouman argues. The German Prime Minister’s plan consists mainly of Keynesian measures that should let money trickle up: tax cuts and insurance premiums cuts and inceased child support are all part of it. There will also be a car wrecking premium of 2,500 euro for cars older than 9 years which is supposed to help the famous German car industry, but which also sounds like a recipe for car theft to me. Still, I guess it is a lot better than giving the money straight to the people who got us into this mess, as some countries do.

According to Bouman, similar measures would be less useful for the Netherlands, since we are a trading country and much of the money our government would pump into the economy would simply flow across the border. However, Germans spend much of their money domestically, but Bouman believes that still plenty of it will end up abroad. And with 25% of all Dutch trade conducted with its large neighbour Germany, Bouman figures that plenty of the German bailout cash will end up here.

Bouman quotes economist Wim Suyker of the Centraal Planbureau (CPB) who estimates that a 50 billion euro plan in Germany leads to a growth of 0.6% of the Dutch economy.

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December 20, 2008

Tour company profits from financial crisis

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:49 pm

Tour company Amsterdam Excursies has decided to profit from the financial crisis by organizing themed guided tours of the financial history of Amsterdam. It’s Crisis Tour starts at the Zeedijk, where the first share in the world was traded in 1606, and ends on the Spuistraat at De Keuken van 1870, the oldest and only still extant soup kitchen of the city. Other crises touched upon during the tour are the collapse of Tulip Mania in 1637, and the end of the Dutch Golden Age.

Via the print edition of NL20. Photo of the VOC HQ (East India Company) by Josh, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

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February 8, 2008

Netherlands strongest European economy

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:04 pm

According to z24 (Dutch), the Netherlands is in second place on the so-called Misery Index, right after Japan. The index adds unemployment rate to inflation rate, and a high position (low value) indicates a healthy economy.

  1. Japan: 4,5
  2. Netherlands: 4,9
  3. Norway: 5,3
  4. Denmark: 5,5
  5. Switzerland: 5,6
  6. South Korea: 6,8
  7. Great-Britain: 7,3
  8. Australia: 7,5
  9. Austria: 7,9
  10. Luxemburg: 8,2

You could probably come up with all sorts of reservations against such an index. For starters, unemployment rates are notoriously unreliable, as they tend to be closer related to propaganda than to statistics. But even a Netherlands that is merely highish in the index might be still be doing well because of it. Z24 writer Mathijs Bouman points out that consumer confidence in the Netherlands took a dive the past half year from 15% to -2%. The factors that have a healing influence on lowered consumer confidence? Low unemployment and inflation rates.

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