Last year, unemployment decreased across all Dutch provinces. The lowest unemployment rate was again recorded in Utrecht, the highest in Flevoland. Unemployment rates also fell in the four largest cities, with the exception of Rotterdam.
Sharpest decrease in Groningen, Limburg and Zeeland
In 2005, unemployment was already reduced in many parts of the Netherlands and this process continued in 2006 and spread across the rest of the country. The most substantial decrease was reported in Groningen, Limburg and Zeeland. Unemployment was still on the increase in these three provinces in 2005.
Unemployment by province
Flevoland has highest unemployment rate
In 2006, Groningen no longer topped the list as the province with the highest unemployment rate. With 7.6 percent, Flevoland currently heads the list, but Flevoland and Drenthe also face high unemployment rates. Just like in previous years, the lowest unemployment rate was found in the province of Utrecht.
In the four largest Dutch cities, unemployment declined in 2006 after a sustained increase in the period 2002–2005. In the rest of the country, unemployment started to decline one year earlier.
Unemployment in the Netherlands and in the largest cities
No unemployment reduction in Rotterdam
In Rotterdam, unemployment remained stable. In 2006 as well as in 2005, almost 11 percent of the Rotterdam labour force were unemployed. The rate in Rotterdam is by far the highest of the four largest cities in the Netherlands.
In Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, the rate declined in 2006. With 5.5 percent, the rate in Utrecht was even below the nationwide average.
Unemployment in the four largest cities