In the first quarter of 2011, the youth unemployment rate in the Netherlands was 7.4 percent, i.e. lower than in all other member states of the European Union (EU). On average, more than one in every five people in the EU labour force aged between 15 and 25 were unemployed. The rate is particularly high in the south and east of the EU.
Youth unemployment high in Southern and Eastern Europe and Ireland
After the Netherlands, Germany and Austria had the second and third lowest youth unemployment rate. In the first quarter of this year, the youth unemployment rates among 15 to 25-year-olds in these countries were 8.3 and 9.2 percent respectively. Youth unemployment was also far below the European average in Malta, Denmark and Slovenia.
In most countries in Southern Europe, like Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal, youth unemployment exceeded 25 percent. In many states in Eastern Europe, like Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland, the rate was also relatively high. Ireland is the only country situated in Western Europe where youth unemployment was above 25 percent.
Seasonally adjusted youth unemployment in the European Union, first quarter 2011
Youth unemployment down since the latter half of 2010
Youth unemployment in the Netherlands has been among the lowest in the EU for years now. Just as in the rest of Europe, the economic crisis prevailing since the end of 2008 caused youth unemployment to rise rapidly in the Netherlands. In the latter half of 2010, unemployment among young people in the Netherlands started to decline marginally. The decline was more substantial than on average in Europe, but more or less the same as in large EU member states like Germany and France.
Seasonally adjusted youth unemployment in the European Union, the Netherlands, Germany and France
Reduction youth unemployment not in all countries
In Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland and Bulgaria, where unemployment among 15 to 25-year-olds has soared since the end of 2008, the increase still continues. This caused the gap between youth unemployment in these countries and the rest of the EU to widen.
Seasonally adjusted youth unemployment in Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland and Bulgaria