Comparative study of the labour force on the Dutch Caribbean islands

Today the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands and St Maarten, united in the Dutch Caribbean Statistical System (DCSS), for a first joint publication– a comparative review of the labour force on the Dutch Caribbean islands.

In the report, the labour market situation on Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten, in the age group 15 to 74 years, is presented. The results cover labour participation according to sex, age and level of education on the six islands, as well as unemployment and a special focus on young people ‘Neither in Employment, nor in Education or Training’ (NEETs).

A majority of the population aged 15 to 74 years on the Dutch Caribbean Islands are in paid work. The labour participation rate is highest on Bonaire (70 percent), followed by St. Maarten and St. Eustatius (both 66 percent) and lowest on Curaçao (53 percent). The group 25 to 54-year-olds has the highest share of working people. Labour participation is much lower among young people and people aged 55 and over: the young are still in education while older people are often retired. Over 80 percent of working people work 35 hours or

more per week. Most of them are employees with a permanent contract, but the share of temporary employees is also relatively high, except on Aruba. Tourism-related economic activities such as accommodation and food serving and trade, and to a lesser extent construction, play an important role on the islands. Another important source of employment on all islands of the Dutch Caribbean is public administration.

In order to supply context for the published figures, they are compared with the average of all OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development ) countries in many instances or, where this is not available, with the relevant figures for the (European) Netherlands, the United States and the European Union.

The report is available at and from the websites of the other three statistical offices.