According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands, the fall in unemployment among people with a non-western foreign background in the Netherlands quickened in 2007. Among people younger than 45 in particular, unemployment has been decreasing more quickly.
Substantial drop in unemployment among non-westerners
Unemployment rates for groups with a non-western foreign background have decreased in the past year. In the fourth quarter of 2007, unemployment among people with a non-western foreign background was 9.1 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2006 it was still as high as 12.4 percent. Unemployment fell among the native Dutch population in the same period. In the fourth quarter of 2007, 3.3 percent of the native Dutch labour force were unemployed, compared with 4.0 percent twelve months previously. Unemployment among non-western foreigners fell by 30 percent in the space of one year, compared with a drop of just under 20 percent for the native Dutch population.
The native Dutch labour force is 9 times as large as the labour force with a non-western foreign background. For the overall labour force the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent on average.
Younger non-westerners catching up
Among people with a non-western foreign background, unemployment in the age group15 to 45 years in particular has dropped substantially. For young people with a non-western foreign background aged 15 to 25 years it fell from 22 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2007. For 25 to 45 year-olds the relative decrease was just as large, and unemployment dropped to 9.1 percent in 2007.
By way of comparison: unemployment among young people with a native Dutch background fell from 8.7 to 8.1 percent in the same period. The larger fall in unemployment among the non-westerners has diminished the gap substantially in unemployment between them and the native Dutch group. In 2006 youth unemployment was still two and a half times as high among non-western groups as among native groups. In 2007 it was just under twice as high.
Rate of decrease similar for all non-western groups
Out of the groups with a non-western foreign background distinguished in the survey, Moroccans traditionally have the highest unemployment rates. In 2001 11 percent of them were unemployed. This is one and a half times as high as unemployment among the Surinamese, the non-western group with the lowest rate of unemployment. The decrease in unemployment was in the same order of magnitude for all the groups distinguished.