Unemployment in the Netherlands fell to 3.7% of the labour force in 2000. It remained highest in the northern provinces, where around 5% of the labour force were out of work.
Traditionally the province of Utrecht has the highest labour participation rates and the lowest unemployment rate. Only 2.5% of the labour force in this province are without a job, far fewer than the national average. In Utrecht province 67% of the population aged 15-64 years had a paid job last year; for the country as a whole this activity rate was 65%.
Unemployment per province, 2000
The strong growth in employment between 1996 and 2000 has halved unemployment in the Netherlands. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.4 to 3.7% of the labour force in this period. The favourable labour market developments have led to a fall in unemployment in all provinces.
Roughly speaking unemployment was halved in all provinces in the period 1996-2000. Therefore, relatively speaking, the difference between unemployment in the provinces with the highest and those with the lowest rates has not changed. In both 1996 and 2000 unemployment was about twice as high in the northern provinces than in the province of Utrecht.
Unemployment still high in Amsterdam and Rotterdam
In Amsterdam and Rotterdam the situation on the labour market has been unfavourable for years now, with unemployment rates constantly above the national average. Last year the rate of unemployment was 6.8% in Amsterdam and 6.5% in Rotterdam. In the city of Utrecht unemployment was around the national average, while in The Hague it was 5%.
Unemployment in the four large cities