Unemployment hardly changed

  • Monthly decline 2 thousand over the past six months
  • Growth employed labour force slowing down

The most recent unemployment figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that unemployment averaged  276 thousand in the period August-October 2008, i.e. 3.6 percent of the labour force, as opposed to 4.0 percent one year previously.

Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment figure over the period August-September was 294 thousand. The difference with the preceding three-monthly period July-September is only marginal (3 thousand). Unemployment figures are based upon a sample survey. More reliable figures can be obtained by monitoring over a longer period of time. Over the past six months, unemployment declined by an average of approximately 2 thousand a month. Last year, the monthly decline was about 6 thousand.

Economic growth over the past two quarters slowed down considerably. On the other hand, there are indications that the labour market is still tight. Unemployment declined further in the past six months, but the decline slowed down relative to 2007. The employed labour force grew further, though less rapidly than in the past. The number of vacancies remained invariably high by the end of the third quarter.

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