MRA economy grows by more than 4 percent after record contraction

The economy of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA) experienced a historically unique economic decline of 7.1 percent in 2020: almost twice as much as the national decline of 3.8 percent. The economy of the MRA is expected to have grown by 4.1 percent in 2021, making a somewhat stronger rebound than the Dutch economy (expected growth of 3.9 percent). This is stated in the Economic Outlook for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area 2021, which will be published today.

It is expected that in the second half of 2022 the size of the economy of the MRA (in gross domestic product) should be back to the level it was just before the outbreak of the corona crisis. Although the MRA’s economy bounced back quickly in 2021, the recovery remains fragile due to the uncertain development of the corona pandemic.

‘Amsterdam economy hit harder by corona than the rest of the Netherlands’

Het Parool on the Economic Outlook 10 December 2021 –

City of Amsterdam Alderman Victor Everhardt (Economic Affairs, chair of the Platform Economy MRA): “The Economic Outlook shows that the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is rebounding strongly, but that the consequences of the corona crisis, which we are still dealing with, will be noticeable for a longer period of time. Collectively, helped by the government, we need to invest in the region and in further socio-economic recovery. In the coming years, the energy transition, a better functioning of the labor market and housing market, accessibility and equality of opportunity for all residents in the region will be central.”

Tight labor market continues

The impact of the corona pandemic on employment has been limited due to the massive deployment of government support. Unemployment rose to 4.2 percent in 2020 in the MRA (particularly among young people, flex workers and the low-skilled), but returned to the historically low pre-crisis level in the course of 2021.

The structural tightness in the labor market, which was already clearly visible before the corona pandemic, has therefore returned faster than expected. This shortage will increase further in the coming years due to the aging population. Only by promoting labor participation and labor productivity growth can be achieved for the region’s ambitions in the field of sustainability, digitization, shortages in the housing market and maintenance of public facilities in care, education and safety.

The ‘ Economische Verkenningen for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area 2021 ‘ (in Dutch) contains the latest figures on economic developments in the 32 municipalities of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the provinces of North-Holland and Flevoland, which have a combined 2.5 million inhabitants. The ‘Economic Outlook’ will be presented today during the online event ‘State of the Region’. During the event, governments, companies, knowledge institutions and social organizations will discuss the joint challenges, strengths and capability of the region. The central theme this year is ‘Investing in the Future’: in a sustainable route out of the corona crisis, in education and the labor market, in the energy transition and in collaboration.

A decisive metropolis

As in previous years, economic growth and employment is concentrated in Amsterdam and Amstelland-Meerlanden (Aalsmeer, Amstelveen, Diemen, Haarlemmermeer, Ouder-Amstel and Uithoorn), but is also spreading, more than before, across the entire region. New collaboration agreements within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area will be presented during ‘State of the Region’. With the agreements made, the MRA wants to work together on solutions for social challenges. The MRA also wants to make a strong statement about the necessary investments, together with companies and knowledge institutions, towards central government, Europe and partners.

Want to know more? Download the digital version of the ‘Economic Outlook for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area 2021’ (in Dutch) here. And click here to order the ‘EVMRA 2021’ in compact book form.


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