300 thousand social assistance benefits

  • Growth by 8 thousand in second quarter 2010
  • Increase slows down
  • Most substantial increase among young people under the age of 27
  • End of June: 18 thousand WIJ benefits

At the end of June this year, 300 thousand social assistance benefits were paid to persons under the age of 65. The amount of social assistance benefits has reached the same level as at the end of December 2006. The increase in the second quarter of 2010 was nearly 3 percent, according to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

The labour market was showing tentative signs of recovery in the second quarter of 2010. The increase in the amount of social assistance benefits slowed down to 2.8 percent (8 thousand benefits), as against 4.0 percent in the first quarter.

The fastest growth in the first and second quarter of 2010 was recorded among young people in the age category under 27. The increase in the male population was more significant than in the female population, but the growth rate among young men declined relative to the first quarter.

Over half of social assistance benefits to young people under 27 were granted on the basis of the Act on Investment in Young People (WIJ). This act obliges municipal authorities to offer work in combination with schooling/training to young benefits claimants. Young who refuse to accept the offer will no longer qualify for municipal benefits. The number of WIJ benefits granted at the end of June 2010 totalled 18 thousand.