Utrecht has most favourable labour market

The province of Utrecht enjoys the lowest rate of unemployment and the highest rate of labour participation in the Netherlands. The labour market is also relatively favourable in the provinces North Holland and North Brabant, while the situation is less promising in the northernmost provinces. Among the large cities the labour market is least favourable in Rotterdam.

Unemployment lowest in province of Utrecht

Unemployment was below 3 percent in Utrecht in 2001. This province has had the lowest level of unemployment in the Netherlands for a number years now. Unemployment was also low in North Brabant, North Holland and Overijssel.

Unemployment by province, 2001

Higher unemployment in the north

The provinces Groningen, Friesland and to a lesser extent Drenthe have the highest rates of jobless people. Groningen has had the highest rates of unemployment for years. In 2001, nearly 5 percent of the labour force were out of work, considerably more than the national average of just over 3 percent. Flevoland, too, had relatively high rates of unemployment.

Utrecht also has highest labour participation rate

The provinces with the lowest rates of unemployment are also those with the highest labour market participation rates. Utrecht led the field in 2001 with a labour participation rate of 69 percent, followed by North Brabant and North Holland, where 67 percent of the 15-64 year olds were in work. Participation rates were lowest in Groningen and Zeeland in 2001: 61 percent of the labour force there had a job.

 Labour participation by province, 2001

Rotterdam relatively unfavourable

The labour market in Rotterdam has been less promising than in the other large cities for a number of years now. In 2001 unemployment there was much higher than the national average, at 6 percent. At 60 percent labour participation was much lower than the national average of 65 percent average.

Improvement in Amsterdam

Unemployment has been driven back with success in Amsterdam in recent years. In 1992 it was higher there than in Rotterdam, but in 2001 it had shrunk to just over 4 percent. Labour participation was higher than average at 66 percent.

Labour participation in the four large cities, 2001

Average rates for The Hague and Utrecht

In The Hague and the city of Utrecht unemployment was just over 3 percent, around the national average. In The Hague participation was slightly lower than average, in Utrecht it was slightly higher.

Mariƫlle Reemers