Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in A...
Unemployment decreases, confidence increases25 November 2013, by Alexandra Gowling
The Netherlands’ national statistics agency CBS has released the latest unemployment figures, showing the unemployment rate has dropped to 8,5 per cent, with 11.000 less people having been able to find a job.
For the last three months, the numbers of unemployed have dropped by 7.000 people per month. Unemployment dropped most with men and young people.
Unemployment had been increasing for the last two years, reaching a high point of 8,7 per cent in July this year.
From January to October this year, 508.000 new WW-uitkeringen (unemployment benefits) were provided, over 100.000 more than in 2012.
In the same period, 440.000 benefits stopped, 75 thousand more than in 2012. Almost half of those benefits were stopped because of a return to work, while just over a third expired as they reached the maximum duration of the benefit.
The consumer confidence index increased by 9 points over the last month to -18, showing that for the first time since the spring of 2011, consumers were hopeful about the economy.
The mood about the economic climate also improved substantially, with the section of the index on the economic climate rising by 18 points to -16, meaning that optimists outnumbered pessimists for the first time in 18 months.
Consumers were also less pessimistic about their own financial situation, although many were still unwilling to buy big-ticket items.
Decline in private investment slows
Another good economic indicator was that the decline in private sector investments in tangible fixed assets slowed for the third month in a row.
Investment was 2,9 per cent less in September 2013 than in September 2012, but in August the difference had been 4,6 per cent.
Lack of savings
These improvements cannot come too soon for some, as recent figures show that 10 per cent of Dutch people would find it hard to keep going after only one month if their source of income stopped.
The Wiser in Finance Public Monitor 2013 report also said that while the Dutch monitor their finances closely, two out of five respondents have received a payment reminder in the past year, with about half of the reminders red.