Labour market prospects by educations and occupations up to 2026

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New report in Dutch on labour market forecasts until 2026 shows good prospects for graduates in science and engineering, healthcare and education

Labor market is weathering Covid-19-pandemic reasonably well

Despite the economic shock of the Covid-19-pandemic, job opportunities are generally good for graduates entering the labour market over the next six years. More than 2 million job openings are expected through 2026. This is offset by an inflow of 1.6 million new entrants on the job market. The job opportunities vary greatly between educational fields, with the best opportunities in science and engineering, healthcare and education. This is evident from the report “The labor market by education and occupation until 2026” by the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) of Maastricht University.

Less economic growth than expected before pandemic

"Euphoria prevails in the labour market at the moment, and the forecasts are still generally good" says research leader and director of ROA Didier Fouarge. "Although the Dutch economy is recovering well after the Covid-19-pandemic, labour market forecasts are less favourable than before the pandemic outbreak." Demand for new staff in the medium term is driven mainly by replacement of staff rather than by a growing number of jobs. Of all job openings, nearly 90% is determined by this replacement demand.

Good prospects for graduates in science, engineering, healthcare and education, weak prospects for graduates in economics and society

The report shows persisting staffing bottlenecks in science and engineering, healthcare and education. Even though labour demand in construction work is flourishing now, ROA foresees a flattening of economic growth for that sector in the coming year. As a result, staffing bottlenecks in the cyclical construction sector is expected to ease in the coming years. The best labour market prospects are for high-educated graduates. Across all educational levels, the prospects for graduates of economics and society are less favourable. In absolute numbers, many job openings are expected for economic and administrative professions, as well as for service professions, commercial professions and professions in transport and logistics. However, the supply is higher than the demand.  This mainly means that graduates in these fields of study will have to search longer for a job or will receive less favourable working conditions, for example, a lower salary or only a temporary contract.

Note to the press: For more information on the content of this press release or the full report, please contact Didier Fouarge, tel. 043 3883647, e-mail

> Download factsheet in Dutch
> Download facsheet in English
> Download report in Dutch
> Project website at ROA