Unemployment declined in nearly all provinces last year, apart from Groningen where it remained stable. The province of Zeeland had the lowest unemployment rate. The rate also declined in the four major cities, most notably in Rotterdam.
Rate most substantially down in Flevoland
Unemployment fell in all provinces but Groningen last year. The largest reduction was recorded in Flevoland. As a result, Flevoland no longer tops the list of provinces where unemployment is high. In the provinces of Friesland, South Holland and Zeeland, the unemployment rate plummeted.
Unemployment by province
Lowest rate recorded in Zeeland
In Zeeland, 3.3 percent of the labour force were unemployed, the lowest rate across the Netherlands. With 4.5 percent, the rate was also below the nationwide average in the provinces of North Holland, Gelderland, Utrecht and North Brabant. Groningen had the highest rate (7.1 percent), followed by Limburg with 5.7 percent.
Steep decline unemployment in major cities
Unemployment also decreased dramatically in the four major Dutch cities. Last year, 6 percent of the labour force were unemployed, as against 7.6 percent in 2006 and a staggering 9.0 percent in 2005.
Unemployment in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague declined more rapidly than in the rest of the country. This is partly due to the fact that people with a non-western background have caught up lately. Relatively many of them live in the major cities. Economic growth in the major cities was also above the national average in recent years.
Unemployment in major cities and elsewhere
Unemployment rate distinctly down in Rotterdam
The unemployment rate in Rotterdam dropped faster than in the other major cities. Last year, 7.4 percent of the Rotterdam labour force were unemployed, as opposed to 9.7 percent in 2006. Yet, the unemployment rate in Rotterdam remained the highest of the four major cities in the Netherlands.
Unemployment in the four major cities