According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, an average 336 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed in the period January-March 2008. This is 4.4 percent of the labour force. Twelve months previously 5.3 percent of the labour force were unemployed. After correction for seasonal effects, unemployment came to 310 thousand people, 4 thousand fewer than in the period December 2007-February 2008. This slight decrease comes after a period in which seasonally adjusted unemployment remained unchanged at 314 thousand people for three periods in a row.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 310 thousand in the period January-March 2008, 4 thousand down on the previous three-month period. As the figure is based on a sample survey, results for a longer period give a more reliable picture. In the last six months unemployment has fallen by an average 4 thousand a month. If we go back even further, we see that the rate of the decrease has slowed down: in the first half of 2007, unemployment fell by an average 7 thousand a month.
Unemployment 180 thousand down in the space of three years
Unemployment was 336 thousand in the period January-March 2008. This 180 thousand fewer than three years ago when unemployment was at its highest since 2001, at 516 thousand. In the last twelve months unemployment has fallen by 65 thousand. The figure for January–March 2008 is still higher, however, than in the same period in 2001, when it was 277 thousand.