Growing number of people pessimistic about finding jobs

06/09/2012 15:00

In the second quarter of this year, 57 thousand people had stopped looking for work, because they thought their chances of success were tiny. The increase relative to one year previously is 14 thousand. Lower educated women in particular were more pessimistic about finding  jobs.

More than 900 people prepared to work for twelve hours a week or more

In the second quarter of this year, 929 thousand people wanted to work for twelve hours a week or more. Nearly half a million of them are defined as unemployed, i.e. they can soon start working and have actively been looking for work over the past four weeks. The rest includes 57 thousand so-called discouraged individuals. They were not actively looking for work over the past six months, because they thought their chances of finding new jobs were poor.

People with low expectations tend to follow the overall unemployment trend

The number of discouraged people changes with the number of unemployed. If unemployment goes up, the group of discouraged individuals also grows and vice versa. The number of people not actively looking for employment, because they think their chances on the labour market are poor is currently more than one and a half times as high as a decade ago. Early 2005 was the only time when the number of discouraged people was as high as in the past quarter. The unemployment rate was also high then.

Number of unemployed and discouraged individuals

Number of unemployed and discouraged individuals

Growing number of lower educated women discouraged

Proportionally, the group of people who are pessimistic about their chances on the labour market includes many women and lower educated. Half of the increase in the second quarter of 2012 also consists of women and lower educated. The age category 55-65 includes relatively many people who are not actively looking for employment, because they are pessimistic about their chances of success. They make up one third of the group of discouraged people. Only one in seven unemployed are aged between 55 and 65.

Discouraged people by personal characteristics

Discouraged people by personal characteristics

Hendrika Lautenbach and Godelief Mars