Number of social security claimants stable

  • Fewer young claimants, rise among over-27s
  • Majority of ex-claimants of social security benefits under the age of 45
  • Nearly half are long-term claimants

Statistics Netherlands announced today that the number of social security claimants has not grown further during the third quarter of 2014; at the end of September, 430 thousand people received social security benefits. The number of young people on social security declined somewhat, but there was a marginal increase among over-27s. Nearly half of claimants have lived on social security for at least three years.

Fewer young claimants in summer

Between the end of June and the end of September, the number of claimants under the age of 27 fell by nearly 3.5 thousand to 38 thousand, presumably as a result of seasonal variation: in summer, the number of young claimants is usually lower, partly because many young people are active in holiday jobs during this period. Among over-27s, on the other hand, the number of claimants of social security benefits grew by approximately 3.5 thousand. In this age category, seasonal effects do not apply.

No signs of change

An increase in job vacancies and fewer unemployment benefits are indications of a cautious recovery of the labour market, but so far, the number of social security recipients is not falling noticeably. Over the first three quarters of this year, the number of over-27 claimants has grown almost as rapidly as in the same period in 2013. Labour market developments have a delayed effect on the number of social security recipients, partly because it appears to be more difficult for social security recipients to find work than for other job seekers.

Three-quarters of older claimants have lived on social security for more than three years

Nearly half of people living on social security have been in this situation for a considerable period of time, i.e. three years or more. This applies to seven in ten over-55s; young people rarely receive social security benefits for a long period of time.

Ex-claimants younger than those still living on social security

On average, ex-claimants of social security benefits are younger than the category who have lived on social security for at least one year. Three-quarters of ex-claimants are under the age of 45; among people who have been on social security for at least one year, fewer than half are younger than 45. This suggests that - when people grow older - their chances on the labour market deteriorate. The majority of ex-claimants (57 percent) have lived on social security for less than one year. Only part of these ex-claimants find paid employment; between 40 and 50 percent.