Unemployment almost unchanged

After correction for seasonal effects, 379 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2007, nearly the same number as in the period December 2006-February 2007. This is the second month in succession that seasonally adjusted unemployment has not fallen, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.
Compared with twelve months previously, unemployment is 59 thousand lower. In the first quarter of 2007, 5.3 percent of the labour force were unemployed. In the same period last year this was 6.2 percent.

Unemployment not down for the second month

Seasonally adjusted unemployment has not decreased since the period November 2006-January 2007. Before that the number of unemployed fell from 413 thousand to 378 thousand in the second half of 2006. Although unemployment has not fallen further, the number of persons with a job did increase. Partly because of the favourable economic developments, more people are active on the labour market.

Nearly just as many over-45s unemployed as last year

The number of unemployed in the first quarter of 2007 was 59 thousand lower than twelve months previously. The largest decrease was for 15-24 year-olds and 25-44 year-olds. Unemployment in these age groups fell by 12 thousand and 43 thousand persons respectively.  For the over-45s the decrease was considerably smaller, at only 5 thousand. However, the substantial increase in the number of active over-45s resulted in a relatively large decrease in the unemployment rate for this group, from 5.4 to 4.9 percent.
As a result of population ageing and rising participation rates, the over-45s are accounting for an increasingly larger party of the labour force. The percentage active on the labour market rose from 62 to 64 in the space of one year.