Youth unemployment no longer rising

Unemployment has risen substantially in the Netherlands since mid 2001. The rise has been apparent across all age groups, for both men and women. The increase in the number of young unemployed people seems to have come to a halt in the last six months, according to Statistics Netherlands’ trends calculations. 

115 thousand young unemployed

At the beginning of 2005 some 115 thousand people in the Netherlands aged between 15 and 24 years were unemployed, just as many women as men. Thirteen to fourteen percent of the young labour force is unemployed. It should be taken into account in this respect that only some 45 percent of the nearly 2 million people in this age group belong to the labour force; many young people are still in full-time education and are excluded. Forty percent of unemployed young people are in education.

Youth unemployment by sex

Youth unemployment stable

In times of economic recession, young people are often the first to become unemployed. This was very clear in 2001 when the economy started to decline. 
On the other hand, as soon as the economy starts to pick up again, young people are also often among the first to benefit. This is because they can be placed more flexibly and are cheaper than older workers.
For older people it is more difficult to find work again once they are unemployed.

Youth unemployment has been almost stable for a number of months now, according to the trend calculations by Statistics Netherlands. Total unemployment is still rising by a few thousand a month.

Monthly rise in unemployment by age

Slightly fewer young people registered at job centres

The group of young unemployed differs in composition from the group registered at job centres. Many unemployed young people do not registered with a job centre because they are not entitled to unemployment benefit or income support.  Young people seeking temporary work also often do not register with a job centre; many of them are still at school. The number of young people registered at job centres has thus risen less sharply than the number actually unemployed. It has even been falling slightly in recent months.

Youth unemployment: Statistics Netherlands compared with job centres

Remko Hijman