According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands, an average 470 thousand people were out of work in the Netherlands in the period September – November 2004. Unemployment is always lower at this time of year because of seasonal effects. Once these effects have been removed, unemployment comes to 480 thousand in this period, 4 thousand more than in the period August-October this year
In the last three months 6.2 percent of the Dutch labour force was unemployed. One year previously this was 5.5 percent.
Year-on-year increase halved
In the period September – November 2004 unemployment was 58 thousand higher than in the same period in 2003. In the first quarter this increase was still as large as 128 thousand, in the second quarter it was 90 thousand, and in the third quarter 58 thousand. The year-on-year increase has thus more than halved compared with the beginning of 2004.
Youth unemployment cause for concern
The increase in unemployment is largest among young people. More than half of the year-on-year increase in unemployment was in the age category 15-24 years. In the period September-November 2004, an average 118 thousand young people in the Netherlands were unemployed, 30 thousand more than in the same period in 2003. In the corresponding periods in 2003 and 2002 the increases were 9 thousand and 19 thousand respectively. The increase in youth unemployment has been accompanied by a decrease in the number of young people with a job. In both this period and in the corresponding period in 2003, four out of ten young unemployed people were in education and simultaneously looking for a job.
Unemployment also rose in other age groups, although the increases were smaller. Among 25-44 year-olds, 228 thousand people on average were unemployed, 12 thousand more than one year previously. The number of unemployed 45-64 year-olds rose by 16 thousand to a level of 124 thousand.
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