Unemployment rate down from 6.5 to 6.4 percent

20/05/2016 15:00
Unemployment declined marginally over the past three months, though not among young men. On average, unemployment fell by one thousand a month, hitting 572 thousand by the end of April. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 6.4 percent of the labour force were unemployed in April 2016, as against 6.5 percent in January 2016 and 7.0 percent in April 2015. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) granted 461 thousand unemployment benefits by the end of April.

Last week CBS reported on the labour market in the first quarter of this year (Dutch only).

UWV: fewer new unemployment benefits in sector health care and welfare

UWV paid out 188 thousand new unemployment benefits in the first four months of this year, i.e. 26 thousand fewer (- 12 percent) than in the same period last year. The number of new benefits fell across all sectors, except in the segment retail department stores. Remarkable is the sharp decline in new benefits in the health care and welfare sector (- 26 percent).

Unemployed and unemployment benefits, monthly figures up to and including April 2016
 

Following the adoption of the Work and Security Act (Wwz), a new classification method on the basis of income adjustment was introduced in July 2015, which structurally increased the number of current unemployment benefits; firstly, because people who start working may still be entitled to income supplement under the Unemployment Act (WW) and secondly, their entitlement to a benefit is only terminated after a check has been performed to verify whether their self-reported income matches the income as stated by their employer. These data are available in the Policy administration.

More young men unemployed

In April last year 7.0 percent of the labour force were unemployed, versus 6.4 percent in April 2016, but unemployment among 15 to 25-year-old men rose from 10.8 to 12.0 percent in the span of one year. Most people in this age group were secondary school pupils and students often looking for small part-time jobs. Unemployment among 15 to 25-year-old women decreased from 11.1 to 10.4 percent in the same period.

Youth unemployment (seasonally adjusted) by gender, monthly figures up to and including April 2016
 

Nearly 8.4 million people employed

The population in the Netherlands includes 12.7 million people aged between 15 and 75. In April 65.7 percent of them (nearly 8.4 million people: 4.5 million men and nearly 3.9 million women) were working in paid employment.

The other 4.4 million people in the age category 15-74 do not have paid jobs: 572 thousand are unemployed and 3.8 million are not seeking employment or not immediately available for the labour market. In the latter group women are in the majority with 2.2 million.

UWV: Number of current benefits noticeably down among young people

Total and employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)

By the end of April 461 thousand people were receiving unemployment benefits from UWV, nearly 10 thousand fewer (- 2 percent) than in March. The number of benefits paid to under-25s decreased by almost 7 percent. Across all sectors, except in the segment retail department stores, the number of current unemployment benefits decreased in April compared to March.