Record: More than 9 million people employed in the Netherlands

Record: More than 9 million people employed in the Netherlands

Never before have there been so many people in paid employment in the Netherlands. According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the number of people in paid work went up by an average of 17 percent each month for the last three months and for the first time totalled more than 9 million people in December.

Unemployment falling in the Netherlands

In the last three months, the number of unemployed people has fallen by an average of 7.000 each month. In December, there were only 302.000 unemployed people in the Netherlands, making the unemployment rate 3,2 percent. Those without paid work indicated that they had recently looked for a job and were readily available.

In December, there were 3,7 million people who, for various reasons, were not in paid employment. These people had not recently looked for a job and were also not readily available. They were, therefore, not included in the CBS working population figures. In the last three months, this group of people has decreased, on average, by 1.000 each month.

Getting easier to find a job

According to UWV, of those unemployed people, 223.000 received unemployment benefit in December – that’s 1,9 percent less than the previous month and 15 percent less than at the end of 2018. The number of people aged 50 and above receiving an unemployment benefit dropped sharply, by 20 percent compared to the end of 2018.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefit has decreased across all professions, but in particular in agricultural occupations, which saw a 21 percent decline; in care and well-being jobs a 19,1 percent decrease; and in pedagogical professions, an 18,2 percent drop.

So how come the number of people on benefits has dropped? On the one hand, it’s gotten easier for jobseekers to find work and on the other; the maximum term for unemployment benefit has been reduced to 24 months.

Minister happy with the figures

Minster of Social Affairs and Employment, Wouter Koolmees, is happy with the news: “A record! And 69 percent of all citizens are working. In the last 50 years, that percentage has never been this high. We should all be proud of this.”

However, the minister does express that there is still work to be done. The differences between permanent and flexible employment are still too great. Things are, luckily, headed in the right direction with the new Balance Employment Market Act (WAB), introduced on January 1. This act will minimise the differences between these employment types.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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