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Number of unemployed highest since 1996

According to new data from Statistics Netherlands, seasonally adjusted unemployment grew by 14 thousand to 510.000 in July, equivalent to an unemployment rate of 6,5 percent. Unemployment has been rising for more than a year, and July marks the first time that the number of unemployed exceeded 500.000 since 1996.

Unemployment was also relatively high in 2004 and 2005, but it did not breach the 500.000 mark. Levels of unemployment among males and among people over the age of 45 are currently higher than they were in 2004 and 2005, while unemployment among females and younger people is relatively lower.

Meanwhile, data published by the Institute for Implementation of Employees’ Insurances (UWV, or Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen in Dutch) show that the number of unemployment (WW) benefits paid out in July increased by more than 7 thousand to 298 thousand, a 17,5 percent increase relative to July of last year.

Over the past year, the number of unemployment benefits paid out increased most rapidly among young people, with the number of young recipients 54 percent greater than it was in July 2011.
Compared to a year ago, the most substantial increase in unemployment benefits claimed was reported in the construction sector, but there were also increases in the health care and temporary employment (uitzend) sectors. The highest regional increases occurred in the provinces of Overijssel and Zeeland.

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Carly Blair

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