Unemployment down, more people finding work
Unemployment in the Netherlands dropped in September, CBS recently announced, with the number of people without work in the Netherlands decreasing for the fifth month in a row.
Unemployment at 8 per cent
In September there were 628.000 unemployed people in the Netherlands, or eight per cent of the workforce, with the number decreasing by 4.000 since August.
In the past six months there are almost 60.000 fewer people unemployed, with an average reduction of 10.000 per month over the last three months. Simultaneously, the employed workforce (those who work 12 hours or more a week) has increased, as job hunters succeed in finding work in the Netherlands.
This is in contrast to the first quarter of 2014, where the labour force contracted by an average of 18.000 job losses per month. However, since April the active labour force has begun to grow and the number of people working has increased.
Unemployment benefits also down
The number of benefits being distributed also continues to drop. Figures from the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) show that the number of September payments decreased by 11.000 to 420.000.
Over first three quarters of 2014 the UWV provided 445.000 new benefits, 1,1 per cent less than in the same period in 2013. The UWV has also terminated 463.000 arrangements so far in 2014, 18 per cent more than the year before, and almost half of which were due to a return to work.
Variations between the genders
Out of the 60.000 people who ceased to be unemployed in the past five months, 37.000 were men. Despite this, the number of men gaining work is not increasing at a proportional rate, meaning there are less men active in the workforce. The number of employed women, on the other hand, rose faster than female unemployment fell.
Claims down in construction and education industries
The construction and education industries experienced the largest decrease in benefits, with fewer workers claiming unemployment payments. However benefit claims for people in the public administration, health and social care sectors rose.
The Netherlands and the EU
From an international perspective the Netherlands has relatively low unemployment.
When calculated according to the definition of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dutch unemployment for August stood at 6,6 per cent, considerably lower than the Eurozone average of 11,5 per cent, and the average of 10,1 per cent for the European Union as a whole.
With levels around five per cent, Austria, Germany and Malta have the lowest unemployment in the EU.