In the period December 2005-February 2006, unemployment averaged 455 thousand. The seasonally adjusted figure stood at 452 thousand, a decrease by 6 thousand on the period November-January.
A downward trend in unemployment has been visible since the third quarter of 2005. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell from 487 to 452 thousand in the period December 2005- February 2006. In the last six months unemployment has fallen by an average 6 thousand a month.
On average, 483 thousand people were unemployed in 2005,, virtually the same amount as in 2004. In 2004, Dutch unemployment rose by 80 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.