According to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands, seasonally adjusted unemployment over the period December 2006-February 2007 averaged 380 thousand, almost equal to the period November-January. Unemployment was reduced by 70 thousand compared to one year previously.
In the period December 2006-February 2007, the labour force unemployment rate stood at 5.1 percent, as against 6.1 percent one year previously.
Average monthly reduction of 7 thousand since summer last year
Seasonal effects tend to push up unemployment in the period December-February. During the winter season, labour is generally in lower demand. This applies in particular to the sectors agriculture, construction and hotels and restaurants. After adjustment for seasonal effects, unemployment was 380 thousand, almost the same as in the previous three-monthly period. This development follows a period of uninterrupted decline. Since the summer of 2006, unemployment fell from 413 thousand in the third quarter to 380 thousand in the most recent period, i.e. an average monthly reduction by 7 thousand.
Male unemployment rate distinctly down
In the period December 2006–February 2007, the number of unemployed was 70 housand lower than one year previously. Male unemployment decreased more significantly than female unemployment. In one year, male unemployment was reduced by 51 thousand to 167 thousand, whereas female unemployment fell by 19 thousand to 217 thousand. In the most recent three-monthly period, 3.9 percent of the male and 6.6 percent of the female labour force were unemployed.
Since the first quarter of 2005, unemployment among men was reduced every month, relative to twelve months previously. The decline in female unemployment began approximately one year later. The difference is partly triggered by the fact that more women are entering the labour market.
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