Unemployment had risen in all Dutch provinces last year relative to 2008. The most substantial increase was recorded in the province of North Brabant. Unemployment also mounted in the four major Dutch cities, notably in Amsterdam. Youth unemployment rose most rapidly in the southern part of the Netherlands.
Most substantial increase in North Brabant
The overall unemployment rate in the Netherlands increased from 3.9 to 4.9 percent last year, but unemployment patterns differed from one province to another.
North Brabant showed the largest increase from 3.4 to 4.8 percent, whereas in 2008 the unemployment rate in North Brabant was the second lowest in the Netherlands. In Utrecht and North Holland, two other provinces with low unemployment rates in 2008, unemployment also rose considerably in 2009. The province of Zeeland accounted for the smallest unemployment growth.
Zeeland has lowest, Groningen highest unemployment rate
With 3.8 percent, Zeeland had the lowest unemployment rate in 2009. The rate was also relatively low in the provinces of Gelderland and Utrecht. With 6.7 percent, Groningen again recorded the highest rate followed by Drenthe with 6.5 and Limburg with 6.2 percent.
Unemployment by province
Highest unemployment rates in large municipalities
Unemployment in the four major Dutch cities is above the national average. Last year, 6.4 percent of the labour force in the four largest cities were unemployed, as against 5.1 percent in 2008. In the other municipalities with a population of 100 thousand or more, unemployment grew from 4.5 to 5.7 percent.
Out of the four major cities, Amsterdam accounted for the most substantial unemployment increase from 4.7 percent to 6.5 percent. Just as in the preceding years, Rotterdam had the highest unemployment rate in 2009 ((7.5 percent). In The Hague and Utrecht, the rates were 5.4 and 5.5 percent respectively.
Unemployment in large municipalities
Youth unemployment highest in the north of the country
Unemployment was relatively high among 15 to 25-year-olds, growing from 8.7 percent in 2008 to 11.2 percent in 2009. Youth unemployment varied from 12.4 percent in the south of the country to 14.4 percent in the north, but in the southern part of the country unemployment grew most relative to 2008.
Unemployment by part of the country among 15 to 25-year-olds