The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands was almost the same as the number of people officially without a job at the end of June, the national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.

The total number of vacancies rose to 284,000 while the jobless total fell 11,000 to 305,000 by the end of the first six months, the CBS said. There are now three times as many vacancies waiting to be filled as there were in 2013, at the height of the last economic crisis.

The IT sector, construction and the hospitality industry are finding it hardest to fill vacancies with around one third of firms saying they are having difficulty finding staff.

The figures also indicate companies are offering more permanent contracts, in an effort to keep staff happy. The number of people with permanent positions rose by nearly 200,000 to 5.5 million over the past year.