One quarter more unemployment benefits in 2002

After many years, the decrease in the number of unemployment benefits paid in the Netherlands came to end in December 2001. In 2002 the number of unemployment benefits rose by 38 thousand. The growth was particularly strong for men. Unemployment benefit claims are subject to seasonal effects: in the winter more men in particular claim unemployment benefit.

A lean year after seven good years

The number of unemployment benefits fell continually in the period 1995-2001: by 239 thousand overall. In December 2001 the lowest point in ten years was reached: 166 thousand. But that was the turning point, and at the end of 2002 the number of unemployment benefits was nearly a quarter higher than one year previously, at 204 thousand.

Unemployment benefits seasonally corrected, 1993-2002

Largest increase for men

At the end of 2002, 58 percent of unemployment benefits were paid to men, 42 percent to women. The growth was strongest among men; they accounted for 68 percent of the increase in 2002. The number of unemployment benefits for men aged 25 to 45 years in particular increased.

Increase in unemployment benefits in 2002 by age

Winter peak in unemployment benefits for men

Unemployment benefits are subject to seasonal effects. In the winter months the number of men in particular claiming unemployment benefits increases. This temporary male unemployment occurs mostly in sectors where employment fluctuates with the seasons, such as the construction industry, agriculture and horticulture and in the hotel and restaurant sector. The number of women claiming unemployment benefits suffers much less from this annual pattern.

Unemployment benefits paid to men, 1993-2002

The monthly figures are adjusted for normal yearly fluctuations by means of seasonal correction. Other effects, such as those caused by a change in legislation are not included in this adjustment. When the number of unemployment benefits decreases, the seasonal corrections are also smaller.

Ton Ferber