Substantial increase unemployment among lower-skilled technicians and construction workers

17/12/2013 15:00

Between 2008 and 2012, unemployment rose faster among lower educated people than among secondary and high educated people. The unemployment increase was most obvious among lower-skilled technicians and construction workers.

Unemployment rate lower educated up to 8.8 percent

In 2012, unemployment among people in the labour force who did not attend any form of education was 5.9 percent. This is significantly higher than in 2008 when 3.4 percent were unemployed. Unemployment increased most rapidly in the lower-skilled labour force: last year, 8.8 percent of them were unemployed, i.e. an increase by 3.5 percentage points relative to 2008. Unemployment in the high educated labour force rose from 2.4 to 4.1 percent.

Unemployment among people in the labour force not attending any form of education by level of education

Unemployment among people in the labour force not attending any form of education by level of education

Many lower educated have attended some form of general education

Last year, 1.5 million people in the labour force did not attend any form of education. Nearly half of them had completed some form of general education. The highest form of education of these people is primary school or another form of lower general education, e.g. the theoretically-based vmbo (lower secondary vocational education) track or the former mavo (lower general secondary education). Most people trained in a specific discipline had attended ‘technology, industry and construction’ or ‘personal services, transport, environment and security’. 

Lower educated people in the labour force not attending any form of education by discipline, 2012

Lower educated people in the labour force not attending any form of education by discipline, 2012

Notable unemployment growth among lower-skilled in construction or technology

Unemployment among lower educated with a background in technology or construction has risen notably: from 2.2 percent in 2008 to 7.2 percent in 2012. This group includes construction workers or car mechanics, but unemployment among them was still below the average level for lower educated.

Unemployment growth was lowest among lower-skilled people with a background in agriculture. With 4.2 percent, this group also had the lowest unemployment rate in 2012. The highest unemployment rate (nearly 15 percent) among lower educated was recorded among people educated in ‘design, art, languages and humanities’, but this group is relatively small.

Unemployment among lower educated people in the labour force not attending any form of education by discipline

Unemployment among lower educated people in the labour force not attending any form of education by discipline

Marian Driessen and Hendrika Lautenbach