Strong rise in unemployment in 2003

An average 416 thousand people were out of work in the Netherlands in the last quarter of 2003. This is 100 thousand more than in the same period in 2002 according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

In the last three months an average 5.5 percent of the Dutch labour force were unemployed, up from 4.2 percent one year previously. For 2003 as a whole 396 thousand people were unemployed on average, 94 thousand more than in 2002.

Unemployment higher in last quarter

Seasonal effects always push down unemployment in the fourth quarter. After correction for these effects the unemployed labour force comes to 431 thousand. In the previous quarter this was 402 thousand.

With the release of the fourth quarter figures, the provisional unemployment figures for 2003 have been revised and are slightly lower. Revision is a regular component of the method used at Statistics Netherlands.

Increase for both men and women

Unemployment rose strongly for both men and women in 2003. There are now more unemployed men than women, although expressed as a percentage of the labour force, more women are unemployed. In 2003 6.1 percent of women in the labour force were unemployed, for men this was 4.7 percent.

Employment down slightly

Between 1994 and 2002, the employed labour force rose continually, from 5.9 million to 7.1 million. This increase came to an end in 2003, when employment even fell slightly.

PDF contains complete press release, including tables and graphics.