In 2008, unemployment declined in nearly all Dutch provinces. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Utrecht, the highest in Groningen. Unemployment also declined in the four major cities. The nationwide unemployment rate dropped for the second year running and stood at 3.9 percent.
Most substantial decline in Flevoland and Groningen
Unemployment decreased in nearly all provinces in 2008, the unemployment rate among women dropped in all provinces. The most notable decline (slightly over 1 percentage point) was recorded in Flevoland and Groningen, but Groningen remains the province where the unemployment rate is highest. Last year, 6.1 percent of the labour force in Groningen were unemployed. Unemployment was also relatively high in the provinces of Drenthe and Limburg. With 3.3 percent, Utrecht had the lowest rate, immediately followed by North Brabant with 3.4 percent.
Unemployment by province
Decline in the four major cities for the third year running
Nationwide unemployment has declined for the third year running. Over 2008, the rate averagedd 3.9 percent, the lowest level since 2002. The rate in the four major cities also declined for the third consecutive year. Last year, 5.1 percent of the labour force in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht were unemployed. In the period 2005–2007, unemployment in the four major Dutch cities dropped more rapidly than in the rest of the country. The gap between the four major cities and the rest of the country has indeed narrowed considerably over the past three years.
Unemployment in the Netherlands and the major cities
Unemployment rate plummeting in Amsterdam
Unemployment in Amsterdam dropped sharply, particularly among women. With 6.6 percent of the labour force unemployed, the rate in Rotterdam was the highest of the four major cities. The Hague had the lowest rate (4.2 percent), just above the nationwide average.
Unemployment in the four major cities