Unemployment continues to fall

According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands, there were on average 447 thousand people unemployed in the Netherlands in the period February-April 2006. The seasonally corrected figure was 427 thousand, 8 thousand less than in the period January-March 2006. This means that the decrease in unemployment, which started over six months ago, continues.

In the last three months, 6.0 percent of the labour force was unemployed, as opposed to 7.0 percent a year ago.

60 thousand less people unemployed since the third quarter

In the first three quarters of 2005, the seasonally corrected unemployment figure hovered around 490 thousand. Unemployment has since dropped substantially. From the third quarter of 2005 on, the number of unemployed has fallen by 60 thousand, reaching 427 thousand in the period February-April 2006.

First time decrease among the over 45’s

For the first time since 2002, unemployment among people over 45 was down on the year before. In the period February-April 2006 there were 3 thousand less unemployed in this age bracket. Some 5.2 percent of the labour force in the 45-64 age bracket was unemployed. Unemployment of people over 45 started to decrease about one year later than among the other age groups.

The number of young unemployed fell by 24 thousand within one year, reaching 93 thousand. Youth unemployment fell by 2.7 percent point to 11.5 percent. Since the start of 2005 the monthly unemployment figure for young people has consistently been lower than the year before.

Unemployment also fell among people aged 25-44. The number of unemployed in this age bracket fell by 40 thousand to 216 thousand. The unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. The monthly unemployment figure in this age bracket has been lower consistently on the year before since the spring of 2005.

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