Where is Dutch unemployment the highest?
A new report from CBS, the Dutch national statistics agency, has revealed the current unemployment distribution among the 12 provinces of the Netherlands.
In 2013, people were most likely to find work in Zeeland, with Utrecht and North-Brabant as other promising options.
Conditions were more severe in the northern provinces, and Flevoland, Groningen and Friesland topped out the list with the highest unemployment rates.
Amsterdam unemployment rapidly increasing
Out of the four largest Dutch municipalities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht), Amsterdam has suffered the greatest rise in unemployment. From 2012 to 2013, the rate jumped from 7,9 to 10,0 per cent.
In contrast, the unemployment rate in The Hague only increased from 10,9 to 11,1 per cent, the least significant change amongst the major cities.
Utrecht offers better opportunities
Although the change in the labour market was the most dramatic in Amsterdam, Rotterdam is the major city with the highest unemployment rate, nearing 14 per cent. That number sounds especially grim, when contrasted with Utrecht.
While unemployment is also on the rise here, in 2013 Utrecht nevertheless had the lowest unemployment rate between the four major cities, coming in at 8,3 per cent.
Northern provinces show highest unemployment
In general, the Dutch labour market appears stronger in the southern provinces. For the last five years, the lowest unemployment rate has been found in Zeeland, where it was only 5,8 per cent in 2013.
Utrecht, North Brabant and Gelderland are next in line, while Limburg has seen a jump in unemployment in the last year and currently sits around the national average.
With unemployment at 10,9 per cent, Flevoland is the most difficult province in which to find work, although statistics from Friesland and Groningen also surpass the national average.
South Holland, which in 2012 was the province with the third-highest unemployment rate, came in fourth position in 2013.
South Holland has experienced the smallest increase in unemployment, a growing stability that also reflects the experience at the national level. Dutch labour market stabilising
In January, 2014, Dutch unemployment rose another tenth of a percent, reaching a national rate of 8,6 per cent. What does this translate to? Another 10.000 people without work. In total, 678.000 have claimed unemployment in the Netherlands.
The government is providing more WW-uitkeringen (unemployment benefits), especially to youth under 25. This age group lies above the national average when it comes to receiving unemployment benefits.
However, these changes are not necessarily cause for concern, as the national unemployment rate has been relatively stable since November 2013.
On top of this, CBS statistics reveal that business investment in the Netherlands has increased drastically in the past year. Much of this new investment focuses on passenger vehicles, construction and machinery.
A further sense of optimism stems from growing consumer confidence, which has risen 27 points since striking an index low in summer 2013.