By the end of September this year, 241 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits were paid in the Netherlands (excluding part-time WW), an increase by nearly 10 percent compared to the previous quarter. The increase in WW benefits varies widely by region. Municipalities in the provinces of North Holland and Overijssel often faced the largest increase.
Increase by more than a quarter in Zaanstad and Castricum
The number of unemployment benefits in North Holland grew markedly in the third quarter of 2009. The number of benefits rose by over 15 percent in nearly all municipalities and in the municipalities of Zaanstad and Castricum by more than 25 percent. The same trend was manifest in many municipalities in Overijssel, where the number of WW benefits rose by more than 20 percent in the adjacent municipalities of Ommen, Twenterand and Hardenberg.
In municipalities situated in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Zeeland, the growth was more modest. Oddly, in municipalities, like Pekela, Stein and Goes, the number of WW benefits was reduced.
WW benefits third quarter of 2009 relative to the second quarter of 2009
Relatively small increase WW benefits in north-east part of the country
In comparison to the entire 15 to 65-year-old population, the number of WW benefits already appears to be relatively high in municipalities in the north of the Netherlands, in the entire southern part of the country and in the border regions in Overijssel and Gelderland. In the north-eastern part of the province of Groningen, the current economic crisis has barely worsened the situation. The growth in municipalities in North Holland is considerable in the third quarter, but at the beginning of the quarter, the amount of WW benefits was relatively low.
WW benefits by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2009 as a proportion of the population in the age category 15–65
The effects of the recession vary by municipality and region. Notably, municipalities in border region show an erratic pattern. In these border regions, municipal populations are bound to decline in the years to come.
Socio-economic conditions may vary considerably according to municipality or region. Additional information on this subject can be found in Leven in Nederland 2009, a publication by the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and Statistics Netherlands, which will be published today.
Jan Latten and Dick ter Steege