According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands, the official Dutch unemployment rate was rising at the end of 2004. In the fourth quarter of 2004 the number of unemployed in the Netherlands averaged 473 thousand. The seasonally corrected unemployment figure reached 492 thousand, up 13 thousand on the period September-November 2004 and up 28 thousand on the third quarter.
Over the last three months an average of 6.3 percent of the labour force was unemployed. A year earlier this was 5.5 percent.
Fluctuations in 2004
Dutch unemployment in the fourth quarter was up 57 thousand on the year before. Still the job market showed signs of recovery in the course of 2004. Unemployment fell halfway through the year, however this trend did not to continue after summer. Dutch unemployment is currently showing a monthly increase of about 6 thousand.
Annual average up by 83 thousand
The annual average unemployment rate in 2004 was 479 thousand. This is an increase of 83 thousand on 2003 when the annual average was 396 thousand. Dutch unemployment increased among men and women and in all age brackets. The number of unemployed men increased by 41 thousand, the number of unemployed women by 43 thousand. In terms of age distribution, there is a major increase among the older people. The number of unemployed increased by 32 thousand in the 45-64 age bracket. Unemployment as a percentage of the labour force was highest among young people, namely 13.3 percent. In 2003 this was 10.6 percent. As the fourth quarter figures became available, there was a slight adjustment of the preliminary unemployment figures for 2004. Such adjustments are standard procedure.
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