Statistics Netherlands announced today that the number of people who found jobs has grown by an average of 6 thousand a month during the past three months. Most people who found work are young. The labour force remained fairly stable during that period. As a result, the number of unemployed was reduced by an average of 6 thousand a month.
Figures provided by the Employee Insurance Agency indicate that last month, 443 thousand unemployment benefits were paid, i.e. 12 thousand down from February.
Two-thirds of the population have paid jobs
In March, 8.3 million people in the 15 to 74-year-old population in the Netherlandss (12.7 million people) had paid jobs. The labour participation rate in that age category was 65.3 percent, versus 65.2 percent three months ago.
Last month, 626 thousand people were unemployed. They were available for the labour market and looking for work, but they could not find work; 7.0 percent in the labour force were unemployed, versus 7.2 percent three months ago. The rest of the 15 to 74-year-old population (3.8 million individuals) did not have work and were not looking for jobs, the so-called non-labour force.
More young people find jobs
More young people found work. In the first three months of this year, the number of employed 15 to 24-year-olds rose by an average of 10 thousand a month. The number of young people working twelve hours a week or more has also increased. Over the past three months, the unemployment rate among young people was reduced from 11.8 to 10.8 percent. The Employee Insurance Agency reports that the number of unemployment benefits also declined, in particular among 15 to 24-year-olds.
Since mid-2014, more people in the age category 15-24 found work. The number of working young people increased by 63 thousand to 1.25 million relative to one year previously. Initially, young people only found small jobs (less than twelve hours a week), but in recent months more young people have started to work longer hours. Since December, the number of young people working at least 12 hours a week has grown by an average of 4 thousand a month.
Nearly two in three working young have flexible employment contracts (see second graph). The ratio is much higher than among over-25s. Nearly three in ten young people have permanent employment contracts and fixed working hours, as against nearly seven in ten working 25 to 74-year-olds.
Increase working over-45s slows down
The number of employed people also grew among over-45s, though less rapidly than in the young population. In the first months of 2015, the number of working over-45s rose by an average of nearly 2 thousand a month. The age category 45-74 has grown for years, but the 25-44 age category has shrunk. Ageing of the population is an important factor in this respect. This shift is reflected in the number of working people per age category.
Number of unemployment benefits substantially down, in particular among young people
The total number of unemployment benefits fell by 12 thousand to 443 thousand in March 2015 relative to February. The number of unemployment benefits decreased notably among young people under the age of 25, but a decline was also found among people over the age of 50. For the latter age category, this was the first decline in six months. The lower number of unemployment benefits is predominantly caused by an increase in the number of temp jobs and more employment in sectors sensitive to seasonal variation, like construction and agriculture.
Number of unemployment benefits paid to over-50s still high on an annual basis
Currently, the number of unemployment benefits is nearly 11 thousand (2.4 percent) below the level of March 2014. The number of male recipients dropped significantly relative to one year previously, while the number of female recipients rose marginally. In sectors and occupations dominated by men, the number of unemployment benefits fell distinctly. In the construction sector, the number of benefits fell by 23 percent and in technical jobs and manufacturing industry by 10 percent.
In sectors and occupational categories where many women are active, there was in fact an increase in the number of unemployment benefits, e.g. the sector health care and welfare (+13 percent), in (para)medical jobs (+4 percent) and in care and servicess (+3 percent). There is an obvious difference between the various age categories. The number of over-50 recipients, for example, is 8 percent higher than in March 2014. At the same time, the number of under-25 recipients is 15 percent below the level of March 2014.