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The current economy of Amsterdam

Economy as the engine of Amsterdam Sorting Machine ​

The main reason to come to Amsterdam is work. Amsterdam's economy has been doing well since 2015, it is a magnet for newcomers. It's an interaction; their presence allows the economy to develop further. This economic dynamic is the driving force behind the enormous influx of new residents, both from home and abroad. Amsterdam has traditionally had a very varied economy, from industry to the financial sector and from trade to culture. Not every sector attracts the same number of newcomers and has the same advantages; some sectors pay very well and some very poorly, some offer permanent places and some temporary. This chapter takes a closer look at the various sectors in the Amsterdam economy and their significance for Amsterdam's functioning as a sorting machine. It is crucial for Amsterdam's economic position that it is able to attract the best talent from home and abroad. Many of the new international economic activities compete worldwide for talent: "The war on talent".

Both the national government (ministry of economic affairs) and the local government, including the 'Amsterdam Economic Board', have an active economic policy with which they try to stimulate economic development.


As long as Amsterdam is doing well economically, it will attract many people from outside Amsterdam. This makes the economy the engine of the sorting machine: the economy ensures the large influx and is also one of the most important selection mechanisms to stay in Amsterdam. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​



Economic sectors

Amsterdam has grown as a trading city. With the VOC and the exchange bank, Amsterdam became the financial center of Europe. This economic boom meant progress in many different ways. On a cultural level, but also in shipbuilding and industry. Today, the Amsterdam economy has new forms, but it still has many different sectors.



     VanMoof and Qwic

Both E-bike companies are bankrupt. The parts could no longer be supplied from Taiwan and China, partly due to customs and import duties. The E-bike market has collapsed; the demand turned out to be too small. So even if the economy is doing well, companies will constantly go bankrupt and new ones will emerge. ​


     Creative tech

At the beginning of 2021, Amsterdam has 12,000 creative technology companies with approximately 24,000 employees (Het Parool, February 6, 2021). There are many types of tech companies: fintech, health-tech, sports-tech, etc. and therefore also 'creative' tech. ​



Manufacturer of navigation systems

The head office on the Oosterdok

Now almost 1000 employees


An originally Dutch company that produces charging stations

Market value of 1 billion dollars on the New York stock exchange

Head office in Amsterdam West

More than 500 employees



     Port of Amsterdam

Management, operation and development of the Amsterdam harbor

The Municipality of Amsterdam is the sole shareholder

About 70,000 people work in the Amsterdam port region ​



Airport in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer

The third busiest airport in the European Union

Shareholders are the Dutch state, the municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and Group ADP

Approximately 65,000 employees




Investing, shares, banks


     The stock exchange

Amsterdam has been the largest stock exchange city in Europe since January 1, 2021.

Consequence of Brexit.

This concerns stock exchange trading in both shares and options, commodity markets, emission markets, etc.

Mainly concerns digital trading outside the AEX and other physical stock exchanges.

Still finding out how many physical jobs are involved. ​



Amsterdam Fintech company

Processing digital payment transactions for major players,

including and AirBnB.

The former Hudson Bay building on Rokin has been converted

into a new head office.

Market value above 1 billion, now (February 2024) 50 billion euros

Adyen now employs around 1900 people in Amsterdam.



Was the 1st digital bank in the Netherlands around 2014.

Amsterdam company, located in Sloterdijk Center.                                                            Headquarter Adyen (Smit, 2022)

Market value above 1 billion euros

488 employees



Amsterdam company for payment services, mainly SME.

Located on the Keizersgracht

By investor group in summer 2021, market value increased to 5.4 billion euros.

More than 600 employees


     Back base

Services to banks


Employees: almost 100



Dutch company that arranges the online buying and selling of tickets

Located on the Rokin

Approximately 170 employees


San Francisco, the most important FinTech center in the world has collapsed: most of the offices are now empty. Downtown San Francisco is now home to many homeless people, it has not been able to recover after Covid. In Amsterdam, FinTech remained; the Amsterdam economy is much more varied and therefore less vulnerable. It is part of a dynamic economy that companies go bankrupt and new ones emerge.



Business services

     Notaries, accountants and lawyers ​

In 2024, 1,663 notaries are active in Amsterdam, working in 181 notary offices (, 2024).

In the same year, almost 400 accounting firms were established in Amsterdam (accountantkantoorgids, 2024).

In 2023, Amsterdam counts 6,225 lawyers (Nederlandse orde van advocaten, January 5, 2023).



Amsterdam tech company; provides software for companies to connect with customers.

In April 2021 she took over a USA industry pleasure, as a result, its market value rose to more than 1 billion euros.

In 2021 700 employees, of which 450 in Amsterdam.

Company grew too fast, writes CEO Robert Vis, and will lay off almost a third of its staff in 2022.

Now around 800 employees in the entire company



Works in Amsterdam with Microsoft in iCloud services

Development and support services

Number of employees: 450

Large office on Nieuwe Vaart, in front of the Maritime Museum next to Kadijksplein ​



Amsterdam company with download and upload service for sending large files on the internet

Head office on Keizersgracht

In 2022, the company announced that it wanted to list on the Amsterdam stock exchange, they expect a market value of around 700 billion euros

80 employees in Amsterdam


Streaming service


70 employees ​ ​



Knowledge and research institutes


Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam (ETCA), one of Shell's three largest research centers

Located in Amsterdam-Noord, next to the IJ

About 1000 employees ​



4,671 employees in 2022

32% international scientific staff ​



5,776 employees in 2022

45% international scientific staff

(31% international employees, of the total) ​


                                                                                                                               Roeterseilandcampus (Photo: Jordi Huisman)

Distribution centers

     Flash deliverers

Amsterdam experienced an explosion of quick retail food delivery services in 2021-2022 with Gorillas (German), Flink (German), Getir (Turkish), Zapp (English). In the heyday, several thousand 'riders' rode through Amsterdam for these companies. This sector has now largely disappeared: Zapp has left the Netherlands, Gorrilas has been taken over by Getir and the Municipality of Amsterdam has introduced strict rules for this sector, as a result of which most distribution centers are now closed. There are only a few hundred 'riders' driving through the city as fast delivery vehicles. Just as quickly as they entered Amsterdam, they flew away just as quickly. In the economic dynamics of Amsterdam, thousands of riders quickly lost their jobs. Where the mostly foreign riders now work and live is unknown. A clear example of Amsterdam as A City of Comings and Goings (Crimson, 2019).



Food delivery service (competitor of AH Delivery Service)

Currently 10 distribution centers and active in the Netherlands, Germany and France

Head office in Overamstel

Opened a new distribution center in Zaandam in spring 2021 (next to AH) where 500 employees work, Amsterdam households are supplied from this distribution center


     Albert Heijn

In recent years, it has opened several mega distribution centers on the outskirts of Amsterdam, from which Amsterdam households are served. The largest is located at the back of the Western Docklands, where many hundreds of mainly Eastern European employees work in the warehouses.

At the beginning of 2024, when the new government is being formed, there was mentioned that distribution centers will be severely restricted, the reason being that many foreigners work there


     Just Eat Takeaway ​

One of the largest food ordering sites in the world

International head office on the Piet Heinkade on the IJ

More than 1000 employees in Amsterdam, out of 8000 employees worldwide

     Uber (Eats)

European headquarters on the Zuidas

1500 employees



Head offices

     From the Netherlands:

Philips - the company has around 11,000 employees in the Netherlands,

but is cutting 10% of its Dutch jobs due to a reorganization.

The head office in Amsterdam is also cutting a number of jobs and will be moved

from the Amstel station to the Zuidas in 2025 (RTL news, January 30, 2023).

AkzoNobel - a Dutch multinational with activities such as painting and varnishing.

Spread over 4 factories and the head office on the Zuidas, 2,600 people work

in the Netherlands (Stil, 2024).

Mojo ​- events agency that will be located in Amsterdam South-East from                                                 Headquarter Philips                     January 2024, with 150 employees (MOJO, n.d.).


     European headquarters of Asian and American companies, partly as a result of Brexit

Uber – with 1,500 employees in Amsterdam, 225 of whom had to leave at the beginning of 2021

Uber Eats falls under this; delivery drivers are not included in the mentioned employees;

Netflix – with 500 employees in Amsterdam

Tata Steel

EMA (European Union medicines agency) also came to Amsterdam as a result of Brexit. ​ ​



Platform economy

Bookings of hotels in particular, an important player worldwide.

Originally an Amsterdam company, acquired in 2006 by the

American Priceline.

The stock market value has been above 1 billion euros for some time

6,500 employees in Amsterdam, since summer 2023 in its

"glass tech palace" on the Oosterdok. ​ ​



Leisure industry                                                                                                 Headquarter


In Amsterdam, 58,630 people work in the Horeca industry in the year 2022. Restaurants have the largest share of employees in this sector. Most jobs are located in the center, approximately 38% (O&S, 2022).


In recent years, Amsterdam has been adding a whole bunch of new, relatively expensive, gyms, some of which call themselves a 'boutique gym'. A couple of these gyms are Saints & Stars, David Lloyd and Rocycle.



Game builder –

approximately 450 people, of which approximately 45% are Dutch.

Sold to Sony years ago.

Will move into a beautiful office at Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal (vml Telegraafgebouw) in 2021 ​ ​



Culture ​

There are 71,805 jobs in the cultural and creative sector of 'groot Amsterdam'. It mainly consists of a large number of small companies, 44,910 companies, which is no less than a fifth of all companies in this region.

Half of the workers in this sector are self-employed and the other half are employed, but more often than in other sectors they do not have a permanent contract.

The largest subsector is art and cultural heritage, with 47% of the companies (, May 31, 2023).

Tourism ​ ​

In the year 2022, there are 75,720 jobs in the tourism sector in Amsterdam. The subsectors that contain the most jobs this year are culture and recreation, accommodation and overnight stays, catering and travel organizations. Most jobs in this sector can of course be found in the center of Amsterdam (O&S, 2022).

Municipality of Amsterdam

The Municipality of Amsterdam employs more than 18,000 people.

New industry ​

Recycle economy




Jaap Draaisma

Amsterdam, February 27, 2024

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