Fifth of Amsterdam job hunters have experienced discrimination

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21 percent of Amsterdam job hunters who were turned down for a job, believe discrimination was involved. 14 percent of working Amsterdam residents have experienced discrimination at work, for example through hurtful jokes from colleagues. The most common forms of discrimination on the Amsterdam labor market are discrimination based on age and ethnicity, the city said on Friday based on a study ranging between July 2019 and June 2020.

Amsterdam raised concerns that the city’s figures are higher than the national average, and where the national figures seem to be showing a positive trend, the Amsterdam figures did not improve compared to last year.

“That is worrying,” said Rutger Groot Wassink, alderman for social affairs and anti-discrimination. “Amsterdam is a diverse city that stands for solidarity and respect for differences. But these figures and the increase in reports to the Discrimination Hotline show that discrimination and exclusion are still the order of the day, also in Amsterdam. That is unacceptable.”

On September 23, the municipality is holding a digital conference with Minister Wouter Koolmees of Social Affairs, and employers, among others, to discuss what the city can do more and differently to fight discrimination on the labor market. At the end of this year, Groot Wasssink will present an updated action plan against labor market discrimination.

“Over the past two years, we have already taken quite a few measures against labor market discrimination and for diversity and inclusion. But more is needed, that much is clear. In the coming months I will be talking about this with employers, employees and the national government,” Groot Wassink said.

The city added that the effects of the coronavirus crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement were not included in these figures. “We know from previous recessions that the odds of the most vulnerable people in the labor market, shrink even further during a crisis,” the municipality said.

But on the other hand, the Black Lives Matter movement and protests showed how averse Amsterdam residents are to exclusion and discrimination in the city, the municipality said “The fact that Amsterdammers speak out en masse against discrimination strengthens the municipality in tacking the problem.”