Sharp fall in unemployment

According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands, seasonally corrected unemployment was 357 thousand on average in the period February- April 2007. This is 17 thousand down on the period January-March. Unemployment fell in all age groups. The number of unemployed, which peaked at the beginning of 2005, has not been this low since February-April 2003.

Unemployment continues to fall

After adjustment for seasonal effects, unemployment in the Netherlands was 17 thousand lower in February-April 2007 than in the preceding three-month period. The strong decrease follows a number of months in which the level of unemployment did not change much. Before that it did decrease. If we look at the development since August-October 2006, unemployment has fallen by an average 9 thousand people a month.

Three –quarters of decrease among 25-44 year-olds

The number of unemployed was 72 thousand lower in the period February-April 2007 than in the same period last year. The largest part of this decrease was accounted for by 25-44 year-olds. Unemployment fell by 55 thousand in this age group, to 161 thousand people or 4.1 percent.

In the youngest age group, too, unemployment fell. In the period February- April 2007, 83 thousand youngsters were unemployed, 10 thousand fewer than one year previously. The youth unemployment rate fell from 11.5 to 9.9 percent.

For the over-45s unemployment fell by 7 thousand people to 131 thousand. This is 4.6 percent of the 45-64 year-old labour force.