Statistics Netherlands announced today that the number of employed has increased by an average of 6 thousand a month between March and May. Women entirely account for the increase. The male working population has been stable for quite a while. Since the labour force remained virtually unchanged, the number of unemployed decreased. The unemployment rate in May was 6.9, versus 7.1 three months ago. The latest first-quarter figures on long-term unemployment do not indicate a downward trend.
In May, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) reported a further reduction of unemployment benefits.
Since March 2014, employment has grown. Compared to one year previously, 87 thousand women found employment. Initially, the number of employed men also increased, but - on balance - the number of employed men did not increase in the past six months.
Over the past twelve months, employment has also risen continually among young people. Jobs of 12 hours a week or more account for approximately 40 percent of the increase. In the same period, the number of young unemployed has declined. Youth unemployment has remained fairly stable over the last three months.
UWV: number of male unemployment benefits claimants significantly down
UWV reported a further decline in the number of unemployment benefits by 11 thousand (-2.5 percent) to 416 thousand at the end of May. Just as in the preceding months, the relative decline was most obvious among under-25s (-8.3 percent). The number of claimants over the age of 50 remained stable in May compared to April. The number of unemployment benefits decreased across all Dutch provinces, most substantially in Friesland. In May, the number of claimants fell most noticeably in the construction sector and among people with temporary employment contracts.
Although the number of women claiming unemployment benefits declined in May, it is still marginally above the level of one year previously (+0.8 percent), but the trend among men was distinctly downwards (-3.6 percent) in May and relative to last year (-9.1 percent). According to UWV, people entitled to unemployment benefits often find work in male-dominated sectors and occupations, like construction, manufacturing industry and technical jobs.
Two-thirds of the population have paid work
In May, 8.3 million people had paid jobs, i.e. 65.4 percent of the population. The 15 to 74-year-old population In the Netherlands comprises 12.7 million individuals.
Last month, 617 thousand people were unemployed: they were available for the labour market and looking for a job, but did not find one. The remaining 3.8 million people in the age category 15-74 are included in the so-called non-labour force; people in this group are unemployed, but are not looking for a job and not available for the labour market.
More women employed
The growth in the number of employed women became apparent a year ago. In recent years, the labour participation rate has risen noticeably among over-45 women. In May this year, 60.5 percent of women were working, versus 59.3 percent in May 2014.
With over 70 percent, the net male labour participation rate is higher, but has hardly changed over the past year. Since May 2014, 16 thousand men have found work.
Generally, more women than men are working less than 12 hours a week. In the first quarter, 9 percent of men and 16 percent of women were working less than 12 hours a week. About one-quarter of working women were employed on a full-time basis in 2014, as against three-quarters of working men.
In May, 6.6 percent of men and 7.3 percent of women were unemployed, but - proportionally - men are more often trapped in long-term unemployment.
Youth unemployment has fallen relative to twelve months previously. In May 2014, the unemployment rate for young people in the Netherlands stood at 13 percent, versus 11.1 percent in May 2015. The unemployment rate for young people has remained stable over the past three months. More and more young people are active on the labour market, looking for jobs.
Until recently, many young people withdrew from the labour market and continued into further education, but now that the economy is picking up, more young people become active on the labour market. Youth and female unemployment did not grow despite the fact that more young people and women were looking for work. The number of young job seekers increased, but the number of young people who were able to find a job also grew. Last year, approximately 40 percent of new jobs involved 12 hours a week or more.