Unemployment unchanged

  • Decrease in unemployment seems to have ended
  • Unemployment unchanged for third successive month
  • More youngsters unemployed than one year ago

According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, an average 280 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in the period September–November 2008. This is the equivalent of 3.6 percent of the labour force. In the same period last year this was 4.0 percent.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 292 thousand in the period September-November 2008, one thousand fewer than the previous three-month period. Because the figures are based on a sample survey, the results are more reliable if considered over a longer period. In the last six months unemployment has fallen by an average 3 thousand people per month. In the last three months it has remained unchanged, however, at a level of around 290 thousand people.
It therefore seems as if the long period of decreasing unemployment has now  come to an end. This is connected with the slowdown in economic growth in the second and third quarters of 2008. This slowdown has not yet resulted in an increase in unemployment, however. It usually takes some time for the labour market to respond to economic developments.

In the period September-November there were 26 thousand fewer unemployed than in the same period last year. This decrease was completely accounted for by the age groups 25-44 years and 45-64 years. Youth unemployment was 9 thousand higher than twelve months previously. Youth unemployment is usually the first to rise in times of economic depression.

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