The number of unemployment benefits has been increasing again since May 2002. Most of this increase is accounted for by male claimants. The rise was relatively small among older women and younger men.
Increase in unemployment benefits since May
At the end of July 2002, 179 thousand people were claiming unemployment benefit, ten thousand more than one year previously. The number of unemployment benefits has fallen continuously for last the seven years, although the rate of the decrease has been slowing down since 1999. May 2002, however, was the turnaround point: the number started to grow again.
Number of unemployment benefits
More men claiming unemployment benefit
In the months January to July 2002 the number of men claiming unemployment benefit rose by eight thousand, the number of women by five thousand. In the first quarter the increase for men was nearly three times as large as that for women. In the second quarter the number of men claiming unemployment benefit fell slightly.
Increase in number of unemployment benefits by sex, 2002
Short-term benefits in the winter
A fall in the number of unemployment benefits is quite usual in the second quarter. It is caused by short-term benefits paid to men who do seasonal work in construction, agriculture and services (hotels and restaurants and temp agencies). This year, however, substantially fewer unemployment benefits were stopped than in recent years.
Increase in number of unemployment benefits by age, 2002
Slow growth for younger men and older women
People aged 35 and older accounted for half of the increase in the first seven months of 2002, but there is a difference between men and women. For men 56 percent of the increase was accounted for by the age group 35 and older, while for women this was 42 percent. The main reasons for this are the small shares in the increase for men aged 15-24 years and women aged 45-64 years.