In the period December 2008-February 2009, seasonally adjusted unemployment stood at 306 thousand, an increase by 3 thousand relative to the preceding three-monthly period and the third increase in a row. For the first time in nearly four years, more men than women were unemployed.
Unemployment was 7 thousand down on the same period one year previously. Female unemployment dropped by 26 thousand, whereas male unemployment was 19 thousand higher. Men under 45 were entirely accountable for the increase.
An average of 4.1 percent of the total Dutch labour force were unemployed. The unemployment rate among women stood at 4.5 procent, as against 3.7 procent for men. The highest unemployment rate was recorded among 15 to 24-year-olds.
According to the March 2009 Consumer Confidence Survey, consumers remained pessimistic about unemployment. Just like in February, nine out of every ten consumers expect unemployment to rise in the next 12 months.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment