Marginal increase employed, fewer people unemployed

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© Hollandse Hoogte

The number of employed people increased by an average of 2 thousand a month in the period February-April. Employment rose noticeably among young people and over-45s. In the same period, the labour force declined by an average of 5 thousand a month. As a result, unemployment fell by 7 thousand a month. The unemployment rate in the Netherlands was 7.0 percent, versus 7.2 percent three months previously, as Statistics Netherlands (CBS) announced today on the basis of data over the period February-April.

The labour force has shrunk since the beginning of 2015. Fewer people enter the labour market compared to the end of last year. People entering the labour market are currently outnumbered by those withdrawing from the labour market. Since the latter half of last year, the labour force has grown almost continually as more people became available for the labour market and found work or started looking for jobs as CBS reported on 13 May in the publication about the labour market situation in the first quarter.

The number of unemployment benefits also declined. In April, 427 thousand benefits were claimed, i.e. 16 thousand down from March, according to figures released by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). 

Two-thirds in the population hold paid jobs

The 15 to 74-year-old population includes 12.7 million individuals of whom 8.3 million held paid jobs in April (65.4 percent in the population).

Altogether, 625 thousand people were unemployed last month: they were available for the labour market and looking for jobs, but had not been successful so far. The remainingg 3.8 million in the age category 15-74 had no work and were not looking for work, the so called non-labour force.

Total and employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)

More young people and over-45s employed

Employment has risen among young people and over-45s. Many women found work. In the period February-April, the number of employed 15 to 24-year-olds grew by an average of 7 thousand a month; 61.4 percent of young people were employed in April, as against 60.4 percent three months ago. Twelve months ago, the net labour participation rate among 15 to 24-year-olds was 58.2 percent. The number of small jobs and jobs of 12 hours or more per week grew.

Young people with small and large jobs (15-24 yrs, seasonally adjusted)

Ageing of the population

Over the past three months, the number of employed over-45s has grown by 4 thousand a month. Ageing of the population is an important factor in this respect. The population in the age category 45-74 has grown for years and simultaneously, the 25 to 44-year-old population is diminishing. The shift is reflected in the number of employed per age category. The number of employed over-45s has hardly changed in recent months (55.3 percent).

Employed labour force by age (average monthly change over three months)

Young people benefit from downward trend in unemployment

The economy is improving and young people appear to benefit most from the recovery of the labour market. In the past 12 months, the unemployment rate fell most among 15 to 24-year-olds, from 13.2 to 10.9 percent. The unemployment rate in the labour force among 25 to 44-year-olds fell less rapidly.

The unemployment rate hardly changed among over-45s. Proportionally, many over-45s are in the category long-term unemployed.

Half are working part-time

Within the EU, the Netherlands has the highest labour participation rate after Sweden. Although the labour participation rate in the Netherlands is high, nearly half of employed are working on a part-time basis. As far as the number of part-timers is concerned, the Netherlands tops the EU list. The rate for part-timers is particularly high among Dutch women.

Net labour participation rate (15-74 yrs) by working hours, 2014

Unemployment benefits further down

The number of unemployment benefits has fallen for the third consecutive month. UWV recorded 427 thousand unemployment benefits in April, 3.7 percent down from March. The number of unemployment benefits decreased across all sectors, but proportionally, the decrease was most substantial in the sectors agriculture and construction.

Unemployed labour force (seasonally adjusted) and unemployment benefits

Downward trend mainly found in northern provinces

The number of unemployment benefits declined considerably in the northern provinces of Friesland, Drenthe and Groningen, mainly due to more jobs in the sectors agriculture and construction. In Friesland, the sector hotels and restaurants also created employment. Just as last month, the number of benefits fell most substantially among under 25ss (- 12.1 percent).

The number of unemployment benefits also decreased by 3.7 percent relative to one year previously. Compared to April last year, the number of benefit claimants only rose among over-50s, by 6 percent.

Fewer new benefits in 2015 than in 2014

In the period January-April 2015, UWV granted 214 thousand new unemployment benefits, i.e. 1.1 percent down from last year. So far in 2015, the number of new benefits only increased among over-50s compared to the same period in 2014.

Considerable increase people moving from unemployment to employment

In the first four months of this year, 228 thousand unemployment benefits were ended,, 8.2 percent more than last year. The number of benefits ended because people found work rose by 11.9 percent to 114 thousand. In the sectors construction and education, the number of unemployed people who found work fell by 3 and 2 percent respectively.