Unemployment down 50 percent since 2014 in the Netherlands

Unemployment down 50 percent since 2014 in the Netherlands

The unemployment rate in the Netherlands has been falling, and the month of March was no exception to this trend, with unemployment figures dropping to 3,9 percent. According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the current rate is half what it was in early 2014, when the percentage of those without a job in the Netherlands peaked at 7,8 percent.

Employment numbers in the Netherlands increasing

In February 2018, the percentage of those without employment was at 4,1 percent, according to CBS. In March, this percentage fell to 3,9 percent, with more than 8,7 million 15 to 75 year olds in the Netherlands in paid employment. In the last three months therefore, the number of people in employment for which they receive a salary has increased on average by 20.000 per month.

This is the first time that the unemployment rate has dropped below 4 percent in almost 10 years, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Wouter Koolmees, expressed. He also communicated the need to ensure that those still searching for a job find a suitable function through training or re-training, for example. 

As may be expected, with the increasing number of people in employment, the number of unemployment benefits paid out by the Employee Insurance Agency Netherlands (UWV) has decreased. In fact, the number of active unemployment benefits fell by 0,7 percent from 330.000 in February to 327.000 in March.

Many still unemployed

According to CBS figures, 4,2 million people did not have a paid job for various reasons, with 357.000 of these people fitting the International Labour Organization's definition of unemployment. These people had recently searched for a job and are immediately available for employment. On average, the numbers in this group decreased by 13.000 each month in the last three months.

The other 3,9 million unemployed persons had either not recently searched for a job or were not immediately available. In the first three months of this year, the numbers of this group declined by an average of 3.000 per month.

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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