According to the international definition, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands was 6.4 percent in March, i.e. above the German rate of 5.4 percent. Until September 2012, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands has been lower than in Germany. Last year, employment improved in nearly all German sectors.
Unemployment up in the Netherlands, stable in Germany
Since the German reunification, unemployment has always been lower in the Netherlands than in Germany, but this trend changed in 2012, when the rate was 5.4 percent in both countries according to the international definition. In the following months, unemployment grew dramatically in the Netherlands, but remained stable in Germany. In March this year, 6.4 percent in the Dutch labour force were unemployed versus 5.4 percent in the German labour force, but these rates are still far below the average level of 12.1 percent in the eurozone in March.
Unemployment in the Netherlands and Germany, international definition
Germany exception in Europe
Germany is one of the few eurozone countries to show no unemployment growth over the past year. In March 2013, the rate was indeed a bit lower than in March 2012 when 5.5 percent in the German labour force were unemployed. In the Netherlands, the rate increased by 1.4 percentage points to 6.4 percent within one year. The increase was just above the average Eurozone increase of 1.1 percentage points.
Unemployment in eurozone countries, international definition
Employment growth in Germany across nearly all sectors
The level of unemployment is closely related to the number of jobs. In Germany, the number of employed was on average 1.1 percent higher in 2012 than one year previously. Employment improved in nearly all sectors, whereas in the Netherlands the number of employed persons declined by 0.1 percent. Proportionally, the reduction was substantial in the sectors immovable property, financial services and construction. In Germany, on the other hand, employment improved in the sectors immovable property and construction.
Employed persons by sector