Unemployment rising

  • End of three-year period of falling unemployment
  • More young people unemployed
  • Unemployment averaged 304 thousand in 2008

The most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that unemployment averaged 285 thousand in the period October-December 2008, i.e. 3.7 percent of the labour force. 

Seasonally adjusted unemployment averaged 300 thousand over the period October-December 2008, an increase by 7 thousand relative to the preceding three-monthly period. The unemployment survey is a sample survey and therefore more reliable figures can be obtained by monitoring over a longer period of time. In the past months, an uninterrupted period of falling unemployment covering more than three years came to a close. By the end of 2008, the unemployment rate began to rise.

Unemployment is 16 thousand down on the period October-December, the smallest annual change in three years. The decline was largely accounted for by people in the age category 45-64. Among 25 to 44-year-olds unemployment hardly changed. Unemployment among young people rose by 8 thousand compared to the period October-December 2007.

Annual figures over 2008

In 2008, unemployment averaged 304 thousand, 40 thousand fewer than in 2007. The employed labour force grew by 151 thousand to an average of more than 7.4 million.
The labour participation rate over 2008 was 70.3 percent, i.e. 1.0 percentage points up on 2007. The participation rate increased mainly among women and older people.

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