In the period November 2005-January 2006, unemployment in the Netherlands averaged 450 thousand. The seasonally adjusted figure stood at 460 thousand, a decrease by 8 thousand on the period October-December 2005. Seasonally adjusted unemployment went down in the course of 2005. Data on the period November 2005-January 2006 confirm this development.
In the Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted by Statistics Netherlands, respondents are asked about future developments with respect to unemployment. In January 2006, about one third of consumers expected unemployment to fall in the next twelve months. From mid-2005 onwards, more and more consumers expect unemployment to drop in the twelve months to come.
On average, 483 thousand people were unemployed in 2005, virtually the same amount as in 2004. In 2004, Dutch unemployment rose by 80 thousand and in 2003 by nearly 100 thousand.
In 2005 as well as in 2004, an average 6.5 percent of the Dutch labour force were unemployed. With 5.4 percent, this rate was considerably lower in 2003.