Half of people willing to work not immediately available or not actively looking for work

08/09/2011 15:00

A total of 815 thousand people in the Netherlands would like to work twelve hours a week or more. Approximately half of them are not immediately available for the labour market or are not actively looking for a job. This group mainly consists of women and lower educated.

Nearly 200 thousand people cannot start immediately

The unused labour supply comprised 815 thousand people In the second quarter of 2011. They are unemployed or work less than twelve hours a week, but have indicated that they would like to work twelve hours a week or more. Nearly half of persons in this group are indeed actively looking for work and immediately available for the labour market, the so-called unemployed labour force. More than a quarter are available at short notice, but are not actively looking for work. Nearly one quarter cannot start immediately. Various reasons are impending graduation, personal circumstances or illness.

Unused labour supply, second quarter 2011

Unused labour supply, second quarter 2011

Number of people not actively looking for work or not immediately available is fairly stable

The number of unemployed varies considerably depending on the state of the economy, but the number of people willing to work, who cannot start immediately or are not actively looking has been fairly stable over time. The number of people willing to work, but not able to start immediately always peaks in the second quarter when more students and pupils indicate they would like to work, but are as yet not available for the labour market.

Unused labour supply

Unused labour supply

Many women and lower educated not immediately available or not actively looking for work

With 218 thousand, male unemployment is higher than female unemployment (180 thousand). One of the reasons is that, in recent years, more jobs were lost in male-dominated  sectors. In the group of people who are not immediately available or have not been looking actively, women constitute a majority. This group consists of 172 thousand men and 245 thousand women. Lower educated are overrepresented. In the group of people who have not actively been looking, one fifth (43 thousand) have been put off in the past. They are not actively looking, because they expect poor results.

Unused labour supply by gender and level of education, second quarter 2011

Unused labour supply by gender and level of education, second quarter 2011

Hendrika Lautenbach and Maico Hoksbergen