In 2023, there was a remarkable wage increase in the Netherlands made possible by the Collective Labor Agreement (CLA). In this blog, we will talk about why this pay increase is a big deal and how does it change things for people who work here, whether they’re from the Netherlands or from another country. Let’s find out by taking a closer look at what this extra money means for the people who work in the metal and technical sectors and those who keep things moving in transportation. We’ll see how this pay boost has made a real difference in their lives and in the economy as a whole.


Before we go into the specifics of the wage increase, let’s take a moment to understand what the Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) is. In the Netherlands, the CLA is a legally binding agreement negotiated between employers’ organizations and trade unions. It sets out the terms and conditions of employment for workers in various sectors, including wages, working hours, leave entitlements, and other benefits.

The CLA is an integral part of the Dutch labor market and it plays an important role in ensuring fair and competitive employment conditions. However, the CLA is not the same for everyone. It can vary between different sectors and industries, as well as between specific companies within those sectors. This means that different sectors and companies may have their own unique CLAs tailored to their specific needs and circumstances. So if you have a question about wages, working hours or other benefits, you need to check that CLA that applies to the company you work for.

People sitting at the table
Inflation sign


In 2023, the Netherlands experienced a notable wage increase across various sectors, with the metal and technical sectors and the transport industry being particularly impacted. The wage increase was implemented to address several key factors:

  1. Inflation: In the preceding years, the Netherlands, like many other countries, had been struggling with inflationary pressures. The wage increase aimed to help workers keep up with rising living costs, ensuring their purchasing power remained intact.

  2. Labor shortages: The metal and technical sectors, in particular, had been facing a shortage of skilled workers. Offering competitive wages was seen as a strategy to attract and retain talent in these industries.


In the metal and technical sectors, the wage increase in 2023 translated to an average annual salary increase of around 3.5% for workers covered by CLAs. For example, a skilled welder’s average annual salary in these sectors increased from €40,000 in 2022 to approximately €41,400 in 2023. This wage boost was well-received by Dutch workers as it improved their financial stability and helped in compensating the higher cost of living.

The wage increase in the metal and technical sectors had significant implications for foreign workers as well, who constitute a substantial portion of the workforce in these industries.

Many foreign workers come to the Netherlands seeking better job opportunities, and competitive wages make the country an attractive destination.

However, the wage increase also posed challenges for some foreign workers. Those who were already living in the Netherlands found themselves in a favorable position, as their incomes improved. However, new arrivals may have encountered higher wage expectations and increased competition for jobs in these sectors.


The transport sector, which includes logistics and trucking companies, also witnessed a significant wage increase in 2023. The average salary increase in this sector was around 3.2%, with truck drivers and logistics workers benefiting from the wage increase. For instance, a long-haul truck driver’s average annual salary rose from €38,000 in 2022 to approximately €39,200 in 2023.

Foreign workers in the transport sector were also affected by the wage increase. As the demand for transportation services remained strong, foreign workers continued to find employment opportunities in the Netherlands. The wage increase was seen as a positive development for these workers, providing them with competitive remuneration.

A yellow truck on the road
Man grinding metal


The wage increase in the Netherlands in 2023, governed by the Collective Labor Agreement (CLA), had significant implications for the metal and technical sectors and the transport industry. Dutch workers in these sectors experienced improvements in their income and living standards, helping them combat the challenges of inflation and labor shortages.

Foreign workers, while also benefiting, faced also some challenges as the competition for jobs has increased in the Netherlands. Overall, the wage increase underscored the importance of CLAs in maintaining fair employment conditions and competitiveness in the Dutch labor market.

With competitive wages and welcoming work environments in sectors like metal, technical and transport, it’s a great time to consider joining us. Check out our vacancy page and discover incredible opportunities waiting for you. Your next adventure starts here!



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