Number of income support benefits hardly up

  • 0.4 percent more income support benefits in third quarter 2010
  • Fewer income support benefits paid to men
  • 33 thousand young people receive benefit under WIJ
  • Largest relative increase in last two years in Emmen and Almere

According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, 301 thousand people aged under 65 years were claiming income support at the end of the third quarter of 2010. This is one thousand more than in the previous quarter. The increase in the number of income support benefits therefore seems to have come to a standstill. In the second quarter the increase was still 8 thousand.

For the first time since the last quarter of 2008, the number of income support benefits paid to men decreased. Young men in particular are benefiting from the tentative recovery of the labour market. The number of income support benefits paid to men up to the age of 27 fell by 6 percent in the third quarter. The number of income support benefits paid to women still rose by 1 percent in the third quarter. In the first two quarters of 2010 the increase was still 2.3 percent, however.

Since October 2008, the number of income support benefits in municipalities with fewer than 100 thousand inhabitants has risen by relatively more than in larger municipalities. The increase in the smaller municipalities was 19 percent, in larger municipalities it was 11 percent.

In municipalities with more than 100 thousand inhabitants the number of benefits rose by relatively most in Emmen and Almere, by 37 and 29 percent respectively. In the four largest cities, the increase was smallest in Rotterdam, with 6 percent. On average the increase for the whole country was 15 percent.

From 1 July 2010 young people aged 18 to 26 years receive income support under a new act that requires municipalities to invest in young people, the Wet investeren in jongeren (WIJ). At the end of September 2010, 33 thousand young people were claiming an income provision under the WIJ. Under the act, municipalities are required to offer claimants in this age group a place on work and learning scheme. If claimants do not accept this offer, they lose their entitlement to income support.