Fewer unemployed

  • Unemployment down for the first time since the summer of 2008
  • Optimism premature
  • UWV reports decline job seekers across all provinces
  • Number of WW benefits further down

In the period February-April 2010, unemployment in the Netherlands averaged 459 thousand, i.e. 5.9 percent of the labour force versus 4.6 percent one year ago. In the period February-April 2010, unemployment adjusted for seasonal effects declined for the first time since the summer of 2008, but it seems to be too early to signal a trend reversal, as the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show. Figures released by the UWV benfits agency show that the number of registered job seekers as well as the number of unemployment (WW) benefits have fallen. The number of people seeking employment dropped throughout all Dutch provinces.

Unemployment down

Unemployment adjusted for seasonal variation stood at 437 thousand in the period February-April 2010, i.e. 9 thousand below the previous three-monthly average. Unemployment has dropped for the first time since the summer of 2008, but it seems premature to conclude that the recent period of rising unemployment has come to an end. Recent data on the labour market situation show that there was no improvement in the first quarter of 2010. The number of unfilled vacancies, for example, declined further and employment shrank.

If a longer period is taken into account, unemployment has risen over the past six months by an average of 6 thousand a month. The average increase over the first six months of 2009 was 13 thousand a month.

Number of job seekers declines throughout all provinces

The number of unemployed job seekers (nww) registered at the UWV dropped by 12 thousand to 512 thousand. The number of job seekers declined throughout all provinces. The most substantial decline was recorded in the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe and in lower-level technical jobs, predominantly in the construction sector. The number of unemployed job seekers in lower-level jobs in the transport sector also declined considerably.

Fewer WW benefits

The number of WW benefits decreased by 9 thousand to 309 thousand in April, as people who managed to find new jobs outnumbered those who lost their jobs. Nearly 42 thousand WW benefits were terminated; more than half due to resumption of work.

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