April 14, 2003

In focus: The metal-electro industry in the Netherlands 2002-2004

For the Dutch metal-electro industry 2002 was a year of disaster. Production dropped almost 5½%. The fall in production of the electronic industry was the largest of all (-10%).

Employment decreased dramatically as well by 14 thousand employees. However, this fall was not enough to maintain productivity levels. The wage rate rose strongly.

The results were: a strong increase in labour costs per unit of output, a worsening of the competitive power, a fall of foreign market-shares, decreased exports, much lower profits (-25%), and structural loss of production due to the move of production capacity to lower- wage countries.


Herman Noordman