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Employees rejecting job offers in Amsterdam

Posted 15th August 2023 by Matthew Whittaker


Statistics in Amsterdam are now showing that increasing numbers of people are rejecting jobs offers due to issues around finding accommodation in Amsterdam.

The truth is, every week we come across increasing numbers of companies dealing with one common hurdle—looking for employees willing to relocate to Amsterdam who are met with a large housing crisis. This issue is embedded in a persistent housing crisis that has cast a shadow over the city. Imagine this: in 2022 alone, the cost of renting increased by 12%, leaving the average tenant paying 17 euros per square meter per month. Considering how compact most Amsterdam homes are, it’s a steep price to pay. Adding fuel to the fire, Amsterdam’s expat community has amassed to over 100,000 individuals, a significant increase averaging at about 12% of the city’s total population. The severe shortage of housing that is now becoming a full blown crisis, not only affecting employment opportunities but triggering more challenges for our international community.

Living Conditions and Accessibilty in Amsterdam

Expat Insider is a valuable resource for expats around the world, providing important insights into life abroad. Their annual "Expat Index" provides a reliable index of expat experiences in different countries by considering factors such as living conditions and accessibility.  These findings come from a survey of a group of migrants in each area, measuring their satisfaction with a range of factors including housing, daily living and language difficulties

The Netherlands has consistently shown acommendable performance in this index, securing a place in the top ten by 2022. 

Countries Rating (out of 40)
New Zealand24.65
The Netherlands23.61

Expats face difficulties when applying for accommodation

However  a closer look at housing standards reveals a less promising situation, especially in Amsterdam. In European terms, Amsterdam ranks 49th out of 52 cities, near the bottom. This is a somewhat troubling statistic, especially considering the reputation of the Netherlands as a magnetic European destination for immigration. Notably, 100,000 migrants live in Amsterdam alone. The seriousness of this issue is supported by the fact that a significant portion (56%) of these expats face difficulties when applying for Dutch accommodation. An even larger (69%) describe Dutch housing as financially unaffordable. 

Expats v Homes

(Graph on new expats V.S new houses built per year. A large increase is seen with the new expats coming into the country, however this is followed with the stable status of houses, that have seen no increase in build for decades.)

Employees are dissuaded from relocating to Amsterdam

This finding is supported by our own data, as we frequently interview firms that are unable to facilitate their employee relocation. In such cases, about 7% of expats are dissuaded or prevented from relocating due to the housing situation in Amsterdam.

Consequently, this crisis set up a frustrating chain reaction, which ultimately affected Amsterdams middle housing market - a segment crucial for maintaining a balanced housing ecosystem. Regrettably, this has spawned a scenario where housing costs have escalated to exorbitant levels, or alternatively, where rental accommodations fail to meet even the most basic living standards.

Employees in Amsterdam


Amsterdam's ongoing housing crisis, with its growing debt and lack of homes, has turned into a bigger problem than just housing. The city is still attractive to expats, but the difficulty in finding a place to live is causing problems. More newcomers are facing fewer job opportunities or even job rejections because they can't find suitable housing. Sadly, this situation not only hurts individual dreams but also stops the city from benefiting from the skills and ideas that immigrant workers bring, leading to the rejection of many job offers. This highlights the urgent need for combined efforts to solve both housing and employment issues, and to improve overall quality of life.

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