Lower educated accounted for most of fall in unemployment

07/06/2011 15:00

The number of unemployed people with a low level of education was 33 thousand lower in the first quarter of 2011 than twelve months previously. They accounted for two-thirds of the total decrease in unemployment in this period.

Unemployed with lower and intermediate education levels benefit

Nearly 140 thousand unemployed people in the first quarter of 2011 had a low education level. This is 33 thousand fewer than in the first quarter of 2010. The number of unemployed with an intermediate level of education also fell, by 15 thousand. The number of unemployed with a high level of education hardly decreased, however. 

The unemployment rate among people with a low level of education was 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Twelve months previously it was still 9.9 percent. For people with a high level of education, the unemployment rate remained unchanged in this period, at 3.9 percent.

Unemployed labour force by level of education

Unemployed labour force by level of education

More women with low education get a job

Men accounted for most of the fall in unemployment among the low educated; the number fell by 22 thousand in the space of a year. The number of unemployed women with a low level of education fell by 10 thousand. However, the number of women with a low level of education in the employed labour force rose by 58 thousand. This means that a large number of women with a low education level got a job, while they did not formerly belong to the unemployed labour force. The number of men in the employed labour force rose by 25 thousand.

Labour force with low level of education, 1st quarter 2011 vs. 1st quarter 2010

Labour force with low level of education, 1st quarter 2011 vs. 1st quarter 2010

Labour participation of low educated rises slightly year-on-year

Net labour participation is highest among people with a high level of education: over 83 percent. This rate has been fairly stable in recent years. For people with a low level of education, labour participation has increased slightly recently. In the first quarter of 2011, labour participation among the low educated was just over 47 percent, nearly 1.5 percent points higher than twelve months previously. 

Net labour participation by level of education

Net labour participation by level of education

Hendrika Lautenbach and Maico Hoksbergen