Unemployment increased across all Dutch provinces last year. The highest rates were recorded in Flevoland, South Holland and Groningen. The unemployment rate is still relatively high in the north of the Netherlands, but the gap between the north and the rest of the country has narrowed.
Unemployment rate Flevoland 8 percent
Last year, 6.4 percent of the Dutch labour force were unemployed. With 8 percent, the province of Flevoland had the highest rate. The rate was also relatively high in the provinces of Groningen and South Holland. Just as in 2011, these three provinces had the highest unemployment rates.
Zeeland has continually had the lowest rate since 2009
With 4.1 percent, the province of Zeeland had the lowest rate. Zeeland has had the lowest rate every year since unemployment started to climb again in 2009.
Unemployment by province
Gap between north and the rest of the Netherlands has narrowed
Two decades ago, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands was approximately the same as last year (6.5 percent). At the time, 8.9 percent of the labour force were unemployed in the north of the country (Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe) versus 7.2 percent in 2012. These figures show that the gap between the provinces in the north and the rest of the country has become significantly smaller.
Most dramatic unemployment growth in western part of the Netherlands
Since the increase in 2009, unemployment has grown most rapidly in the western part of the Netherlands (the provinces of North and South Holland, Utrecht and Zeeland), from 3.7 to 6.7 percent. The rate in the western part of the country is currently above the national average.
Unemployment by part of the country