A good year for Amsterdam

The OIS’ Amsterdam in numbers report is released annually. It compiles the previous year’s statistics and figures – meaning the 2018 report is about the year 2017 – relating to all aspects of the city, such as demographics, economy, housing, culture, transport, education and security. According to the report, Amsterdam is in the midst of an economic boom.

Economic growth

The boom has resulted in an increase in new businesses and a decrease in unemployment. Sectors playing an important role in this growth include tech and construction. In 2017, the number of businesses rose by 5% and the number of people in employment by 3%. The number of jobs rose, too, with particularly strong growth in the sectors of culture, sports and recreation (+9%), industry (+9%) and education (+8%).

Increase in self-employment and sole traders

WeWork Amsterdam South Bank

In total, 12,152 companies were established in Amsterdam in 2017. By far the biggest amount of new companies work in the fields consulting and research (28% of all new businesses), culture, sports and recreation (10%) and information and communication (9%).

The most significant growth in new businesses and employment can be seen in sole traders and the self-employed: an increase of 6%. This is part of a long-term trend: between 2013 and 2018, the number of sole traders in Amsterdam rose by 33%. The largest number of self-employed people lives in West (21%), followed by Zuid. The main sectors they work in, just like the new companies overall, are consulting and research (31%), culture, sports and recreation (19%) and information and communication (19%).

Confidence among businesses

There was also an increase in medium-sized and large companies, with longer-term hires signifying a return of employers’ confidence. The number of new companies with between six and 10 employees rose by 55% between 2013 and 2018, while there was an increase of 14% of new companies with more than 10 employees. In the following year’s report, the OIS will place special attention on what it calls the ‘fast growers’, companies with more than 10 employees that have seen growth of more than 60% in terms of profit or jobs within three years. Often these are startups or scale-ups that have benefitted from a substantial investment. The year 2017 saw 1,800 new businesses from this group appear, providing 140,000 jobs.

Amsterdam in European context

According to the report, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is one of the five fastest-growing economies in Europe. Amsterdam also scores highly in a number of international rankings mentioned by the OIS, including AT Kearney’s Global Cities, which names it as one of the world’s most influential cities. The report ranks Amsterdam at sixth place due to its high welfare level, positive economic climate and good governance, and forecasts further positive developments for the city and region.

Read more about Amsterdam in rankings.