In the forty municipal districts requiring special attention according to the Minister of Housing, Communities and Integration, the percentage of employed people was lower than in the country as a whole, but the proportion of unemployed who would like to work was above the nationwide average.
More benefit claimants in special attention districts
In 2006, there were 774 thousand people living in districts requiring extra attention. Nearly 50 percent of the 542 thousand residents in the 15-64 age bracket had a non-western background (as against just over 10 percent across the Netherlands) and more than 40 percent were low-educated (30 percent nationwide). In the special attention areas, 22 percent of residents were living on benefits, as opposed to 12 percent nationwide. Recipients of social security benefits were overrepresented in the special attention areas.
The rate of non-western residents, low-educated and benefit recipients was higher in the special attention areas than in the four major Dutch cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
Percentage of benefit recipients, 2006
Nearly one third want to work
Over 50 percent of residents of the special attention districts in the age group 15-64 (542 thousand) were employed, which is below the nationwide average of 64 percent. Nearly one third of unemployed (257 thousand) said they wanted to work, as opposed to only one quarter of unemployed nationwide. Persons living on social security and persons with a secondary or higher level of education in particular indicated they would like to work.
Daniëlle ter Haar and Maaike Hersevoort