Sharp increase in unemployment

In the period November 2003 – January 2004 the Netherlands averaged 444 thousand unemployed. This is an increase of 126 thousand compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands.

During the last three months an average 5.9 percent of the labour force were unemployed. One year previously the corresponding percentage was 4.3. The  rise applied across the board and affected both men and women of all ages.

High rate of increase

After correction for seasonal influences, the unemployed labour force totalled 458 thousand in the period November 2003 – January 2004, an increase of 27 thousand on the period October – December 2003. The average monthly rise over the last six months was 10 thousand. Such a high rate of increase also occurred for a short period of time in 2003.

Downward trend in employment

In the last three months 7 063 thousand persons worked twelve hours a week or more. Their number fell by 59 thousand compared to the same period last year.

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