An average 455 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in the period December 2005-February 2006. After correction for seasonal effects the number comes to 452 thousand. This is 6 thousand fewer than in the period November 2005-January 2006, according to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands.
Unemployment in the last three months was 40 thousand lower than twelve months previously. Among the over-45s, however, it has increased. Older unemployed people have benefited less from the improved labour market situation.
Average 6 thousand fewer unemployed per month
A downward trend in unemployment has been visible since the third quarter of 2005. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell from 487 to 452 thousand in the period December 2005- February 2006. In the last six months unemployment has fallen by an average 6 thousand a month.
Youth unemployment continues to fall
Unemployment among Dutch 15-24 year-olds numbered 95 thousand in December 2005-February 2006. This is 14 thousand down on one year previously. The rate of unemployment in this age category fell from 13.3 to 11.7 percent. Since the first quarter of 2005 youth unemployment has been falling nearly every month compared with the same period twelve months previously.
Higher unemployment among older people
In the period December 2005-February 2006 40 thousand fewer people in the Netherlands were unemployed than twelve months previously. In the age group 25-44 years the number fell by 36 thousand. Only among 45-64 year-olds did unemployment rise: by 11 thousand to 148 thousand.
The rate of unemployment rose more slowly in this age category, as because of the ageing process in the Dutch labour force, the number of people aged over 45 with a job also rose. Unemployment among the oldest age group was 5.6 percent in the last three months. Twelve months earlier it was 5.3 percent.