According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands, unemployment was 346 thousand on average in the second quarter of 2007. This is the equivalent of 4.6 percent of the labour force. Twelve months previously the unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent. In the last six months unemployment has fallen by an average 6 thousand persons per month.
Unemployment falling by 6 thousand a month
After correction for seasonal effects, unemployment was 353 thousand on average in the second quarter, 4 thousand more than in the period March-May. Because the figures are based on a sample survey, the most reliable was to interpret the development of unemployment is by looking at a longer period. Compared with six months previously, unemployment was 38 thousand lower. This is the equivalent of a decrease of on average 6 thousand per month.
Largest decrease for 25-44 year-olds
In the second quarter of 2007, unemployment was on average 346 thousand, 61 thousand down on the same period last year. The largest decrease was for the age group 25-44 years. In this age group, unemployment fell by 53 thousand in the space of one year. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.
For the over-45s the decrease was smaller: the number of unemployed in this age group fell by 8 thousand to 124 thousand persons. In the second quarter of 2007, 4.4 of the older labour force were unemployed.
High participation among young people
In the second quarter of 2007, 88 thousand young people were unemployed, about the same number as twelve months previously. The number of young people with a job did increase. The favourable labour market situation means that for the first time in years more young people are in or are looking for employment. The labour participation of young people rose from 43.5 percent in 2006 to nearly 45 percent in the second quarter of 2007.