More than 3 percentage points higher than forecast in December 2021  

Flexible workers, more specifically, self-employed workers and professionals employed by secondment agencies, have increased in price by an average of 4.7 percent in the first six months of 2022. Over the whole of this year, 10.3 percent rate increase is expected, with inflation and scarcity being the driving forces. This is according to data and the rate forecasting model from labor market data specialist Intelligence Group and HR tech service provider HeadFirst Group. This exceeds the average agreed wage increase for permanent staff, which remained stuck at 3.1 percent for the first half of 2022.

Inflation and scarcity drive hourly rate up further
The hourly rate is expected to increase by an average of 10.3 percent by the end of the year. More than 3 percentage points more than HeadFirst Group and Intelligence Group
predicted in December 2021. Geert-Jan Waasdorp, director and founder of Intelligence Group: "On the one hand, this acceleration is due to faster rising inflation and persistent scarcity in the labor market. On the other hand, the uncertainty around corona has diminished, which was there at the end of 2021 and then caused a little pressure on pricing."

Increase in salaries continues to lag

Salaries are also experiencing record increases, according to recent figures from the employment conditions advisor to Dutch employers AWVN. A record monthly average of 3.8 percent in June puts the average agreed wage increase for the first half of 2022 at 3.1 percent. This does leave salaries behind the Central Planning Bureau's inflation forecast of 5.2 percent on average and the average rate increase of professionals.

Marion van Happen, CEO at HeadFirst Group: "Flexible workers benefit faster from rate developments due to the succession of different zzp assignments. Naturally, it also means that rates are more likely to fall in a less scarce labor market and lower inflation, which rarely if ever happens with collective bargaining agreements. Thus, entrepreneurs - which is what zzp'ers and secondment agencies are - bear both the joys and the burdens of the important, flexible role they play in keeping our labor market, and thus our economy, running."

Auto mechanics farm well

Auto mechanics can expect the largest hourly rate increase this year at 15.9 percent, followed by printing and arts and crafts workers and welders and sheet metal workers (15.4 percent). In addition, metalworkers and construction workers, radio and television technicians, software and application developers and cabinetmakers, tailors and upholsterers are predicted to benefit from an hourly rate increase of about 15 percent. Construction finishers can expect the lowest hourly rate increase at 6.8 percent, followed by plumbers and pipe fitters (7.3 percent). In addition, hourly rate increases for carpenters, structural construction workers and painters and metal sprayers are not predicted to exceed 8 percent in 2022.

The Talent Monitor "Update - forecast rate development professionals 2022" is available for free download at