In the period February-April, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure stood at 308 thousand, i.e. 6 thousand down on the period January-March 2008.
Over the past six months, unemployment was reduced by approximately 3 thousand a month. In the first half of 2007, unemployment declined by an average 7 thousand a month, so the rate of decline is slowing down.
Unemployment was 49 thousand below the level of the same period last year. For almost two and a half years now, unemployment has decreased every three-monthly period relative to the same period in the previous year. The most substantial reduction was recorded among 25 to 44-year-olds. This age group accounted for about three quarters of the total reduction in unemployment. The unemployment rate also dropped among young people and over-45s.
An average 4.2 percent of the total Dutch labour force were unemployed in the period February-April, as against 5.0 percent twelve months previously. As usual, the unemployment rate for women was higher than for men: 5.1 and 3.6 percent respectively.
Unemployment, seasonally adjusted