Monday, October 10, 2011


The aging of the labor movement is growing. During the past year, the number of union members of 65 years and older increased with 6.8 percent. The trade union movement is aging faster than the population, where the number of over-65s grew by 2.3 percent. Fourteen percent of union members has reached retirement age, notifies the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) today.

For the first time since 1993 grew the number of union members younger than 25 years. Currently, 74 000 young people are union members. That's three thousand more than last year but considerably less than twenty years ago. At that time ten percent of the young people were members of the trade union movement, today it is only four percent.

The number of union members between 45 and 65 years grows steadily since 2005. In proportion to the population, this group is overrepresented in the trade unions. Of all union members to 65 years nearly sixty percent is between 45 and 65 years, while compared to the working age population this group represents just over forty percent. On the other side, the proportion of trade union members between 25 and 45 years  has continuously shrunk to only 36 percent, while this group represents almost half of the working age population.

The number of female union members has increased since last year with twenty thousand members. The increasing participation of women in the labor market makes that the number of female union members is growing for twenty years, from 332,000 in 1991 to 647,000 in 2011. Women represent today one third of all trade union members. On the other side, the number of male union members fell last year by nearly 14,000. Their numbers declined last twenty years almost constantly.

The unions grew the last year with a total of five thousand members. In March this year the trade unions in the Netherlands have 1.9 million members.

Source:  Marije Willems, NRC Handelsblad 10 oktober 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment