Unemployment down slightly among non-western foreigners in 2008

17/02/2009 15:00
  • Slower fall in unemployment among non-western foreigners
  • Increase in labour participation among non-western foreigners
  • Unemployment up among young non-western foreigners
  • Unemployment among Moroccans 10 percent

Unemployment fell slightly in 2008 among people in the Netherlands with a non-western foreign background. In the two previous years the decrease in unemployment in this group was much larger. Labour participation of people with a non-western foreign background has risen substantially. New figures from Statistics Netherlands also show that unemployment is up among young people with a foreign background.

Unemployment among people with a non-western foreign background was 9.0 percent in 2008. This is nearly three times as high as the rate among the native Dutch population. This group had an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent. Compared with 2007, unemployment fell slightly for both the native Dutch and people with a non-western foreign background. The fall for the non-westerners was considerably smaller, however, than in the previous year. It dropped by only 1 percent point, while it fell by 4 percent points from 2006 to 2007.

Labour participation among non-western foreigners grew strongly in 2008. Over 62 percent of people with a non-western foreign background were active on the labour market. In the previous year this was 59 percent. For native Dutch people participation was up only slightly.

Unemployment was higher overall in 2008 among young people with a foreign background. Seventeen percent of 15 to 25-year-olds with a non-western foreign background were out of work last year, compared with 15 percent in 2007. Among native Dutch young people, on the other hand, unemployment still fell last year. This was also the case for middle-aged and older people with a foreign background.

Out of the four main groups with a non-western foreign background, the Surinamese have the lowest unemployment rate. Moroccans have the highest rate, namely 10 percent. Unemployment among Surinamese and Antilleans and Arubans was just over 6 and nearly 10 percent respectively. In all these groups unemployment fell in 2008. The decrease was only a fraction of the strong decrease in the previous year, however.