In the period December 2004 - February 2005 there were on average 495 thousand unemployed people in the Netherlands. The seasonally corrected unemployment figure was 490 thousand, about the same as the 488 thousand in the period November 2004 - January 2005. This is according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands. Over the last three months 6.6 percent of the labour force was unemployed. A year earlier this figure was 6.3 percent.
Considered over a longer period, the unemployed labour force has been increasing slightly. The current trend is a monthly increase of 4 thousand unemployed. Unemployment had been growing steadily for three years since the spring of 2001. Since the spring of 2004 the unemployment trend has fluctuated. First there was a slight decrease, then a slight increase. In the last three-month period, unemployment returned to its spring 2004 level.
Constant number of young unemployed
In the period December 2004 - February 2005 there were 108 thousand young unemployed people. This is about the same number as the year before. Unemployment as a percentage of the labour force aged 15-24 did increase from 12.2 to 13.1 percent because there are fewer young working people than a year ago. Many young people postpone entering the job market, due to the worsening perspectives. Young people now study longer, and are not actively looking for paid work. Just under half of all people aged 15-24 are active on the job market.
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