Unemployment tops 6 percent

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands, an average 468 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed in the period December 2003-February 2004. This is 128 thousand up on the same period twelve months previously.

An average 6.2 percent of the labour force were out of work in the last three months. One year ago this was 4.6 percent. The last time unemployment was higher than 6 percent was in 1997.

Unemployment among men rose to 5.6 percent, while 7.0 percent of the female labour force are now unemployed.

Growth rate remains high

Unemployment is always higher in the period December-February. More people are out of work in the winter months as there is less work in sectors such as construction and agriculture. After adjustment for these seasonal effects the unemployed labour force comes to 464 thousand in December–February. This is 6 thousand more than in the period November 2003-January 2004.

The average increase in unemployment in the last six months was 11 thousand people per month. This growth rate is a trend indicator for unemployment.

Employment lower than last year

In the last three months 7,047 thousand people had a job of at least twelve hours a week. This is 56 thousand down on the same period twelve months ago.

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