Lessons From The European Tigers

They're growing so fast it could cause trouble

When Connie van Kints was laid off last year from Ovis, a Dutch bakery company, it took her only four months to find a new job at the same pay. The 53-year-old grandmother now reconfigures hard-disk drives at United Parcel Service Worldwide Logistics' high-tech warehouse in the small eastern city of Roermond. Opened in 1996, the UPS facility employs 60 people, is hiring four more per month, and will increase its space by one half by yearend. "We're having a hard time finding enough workers," says senior sales executive Theo de Vlieger. No wonder: Unemployment in the Netherlands has fallen to 4%, a 17-year low. Meanwhile, four miles away across the border, German joblessness tops 10%.

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