Most short-term unemployed are young

In 2005, four in every ten unemployed were unemployed for at least of one year. Long-term unemployment is mainly found among older people. Although the unemployment rate is highest among young people in the 15-24 age bracket, unemployment in this age category is often only temporary.

Four in ten face long-term unemployment

In 2005, the unemployed labour force totalled 483 thousand persons. For 38 percent, the period of unemployment lasted less than 6 months, 20 percent were unemployed somewhere between 6 and 12 months and over 200 thousand persons were unemployed for at least one year. This third category constituted 42 percent of the total number of unemployed in the Netherlands.

Unemployed labour force aged 15-64 by period of unemployment, 2005*

Young people usually unemployed for only a short period of time

In 2005, the unemployment rate was highest among young people aged 15-24, but in most cases the period of unemployment did not last long. For more than four in every ten young unemployed, the period of unemployment did not exceed 3 months. That rate is twice as high as for unemployed 25 to 64-year-olds. Only 19 percent of unemployed young people were unemployed for more than one year.

Prolonged unemployment often found among older people

The proportion of long-term unemployed rises noticeably with advancing age. Six in every ten 50 to 59-year-old unemployed were in the category long-term unemployed. With more than seven in ten, the rate was even higher for 60 to 64-year-old unemployed. Few older people are unemployed for a short period of time: only one in ten older unemployed had found a new job within three months.

Period of unemployment by age, 2005

People with non-native background longer unemployed

People with a non-western, foreign background are more often unemployed for a long period than native Dutch. This is most evident in people in the 45-64 age group, where 72 percent of long-term unemployed had a non-western, foreign background, as against 56 percent of people with a native Dutch background. But the long-term unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds was also evidently higher among people with a non-western, foreign background than among their native Dutch counterparts.

Proportion of long-term unemployed in the unemployed labour force, 2005

Robert de Vries