Graduate unemployment doubled over past three years

Although Eurostat figures published last week indicate that the Netherlands has the third lowest youth unemployment rate in the EU at 9,2 percent, graduating students are nevertheless finding it harder and harder to find a job.

Amongst recent MBO and HBO graduates, unemployment has doubled over the past 3 years, according to researchers at the University of Maastricht.

In 2008 3,2 percent of vocational college (MBO) graduates were jobless, and last year the figure stood at 7 percent. Among graduates with a university diploma, unemployment increased from 4 to 7,9 percent over the same period. Even a HBO diploma doesn’t offer a guarantee of a job, since among these graduates unemployment has increased from 4 to 6,6 percent.

Amongst recent female graduates, 63 percent work less than 33 hours per week, while among male graduates this figure is much lower at 20 percent.

The Maastricht researchers attributed the higher unemployment numbers to the economic crisis. Graduates must search longer before they find a job, they get a permanent position less often, and their career prospects are less promising compared to previous years.

Carly Blair


Carly Blair



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