Unemployment rate marginally higher

According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands, an average of 298 thousand persons, i.e. 3.9 percent of the labour force were unemployed in the period November 2008 - January 2009.

Seasonally corrected unemployment over the period November 2008-January 2009 stood at 304 thousand, 3 thousand more than over the previous three-monthly period. The figures are based on a sample survey and more reliable data can be obtained by monitoring unemployment over a longer period. In the past months, a period of many years of declining unemployment has come to an end and the unemployment rate started to rise. In the period November 2008-January 2009, unemployment increased further.

It is not uncommon for unemployment to increase in this period. Therefore, unemployment figures are adjusted for seasonal effects. If this correction were not performed, unemployment would have been 13 thousand up on the preceding three-monthly period.

In the last three quarters of 2008, the economy has been in recession. The effect on several labour indicators varies. Unemployment is increasing only marginally and the level of employment is as yet invariably high, but the economic downswing obviously affects the number of unfilled vacancies in a downward direction.

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