What does the transition towards a circular economy mean for employment within a city? Circle Economy launched the report “Circular jobs and skills in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area”, the world’s first regional deep-dive to explore the character of jobs and skills in the circular economy. Additionally, it provides practical actions for urban policymakers that to boost the development of a future-proof and circular workforce. The report was produced by Circle Economy and Erasmus University Rotterdam for the City of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Metropolitan Area​

11% of employment is circular in Amsterdam

140,000 jobs are making the circular economy a reality in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. With 11% of the total employment, this is higher than the 9% Dutch National Average. The City’s workforce excels in the areas of circular design, repair service and the use of digital technology for the circular economy.

Raising the social foundation in a circular city

As cities aim to move towards circularity, the transition will fundamentally shake up the type of work that will be done, and the skills needed to do it. Jobs will shift from the extraction and the manufacturing industry towards repair, remanufacturing, biobased and renewable energy sectors. Yet, understanding which jobs and skills are required in a circular economy provides an opportunity for cities to reform their education and training programmes. This allows them to develop a future-proof and inclusive labour-force that fulfils core societal needs of all within the natural boundaries of our planet.

“Insights in employment in the circular economy help us develop the right educational and training programmes to steer towards an inclusive and circular labour market. As such, cities can ensure job opportunities in the circular economy.” – Marieke van Doominck, Deputy Mayor Spatial Development and Sustainability Amsterdam

The need to measure employment in the circular economy in cities

Based on the lessons learned within the city of Amsterdam, the main recommendation from the report is that cities need to start measuring and mapping their circular employment. This will help them to understand what jobs contribute to the circular economy and what skill gaps exist that prevents them from making the shift. This will give policymakers the opportunity to track progress and monitor the effectiveness of their policy and provide a fact-based approach to raise the social foundation of their cities within our planetary boundaries.

Download the report (pdf)