Unemployment continues to fall

Among over-45s in particular unemployment has declined substantially during the past few months. In August 521 thousand people were unemployed (5.8 percent of the employed labour force), versus 581 thousand six months ago (6.5 percent in the labour force). Statistics Netherlands says the number of employed rose by 108 thousand. Towards the end of August, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) paid 427 thousand unemployment benefits.
Eight years ago in August 2008, the unemployment rate reached its lowest level in years (3.6 percent). Five and a half years later (February 2014) unemployment peaked when 7.9 percent in the labour force were unemployed. Subsequently, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent.
Today, the digital publication on the labour market ‘De arbeidsmarkt in cijfers' (Dutch only) will be released. This publication provides an elaborate overview of the situation on the Dutch labour market in 2015.

Unemployed and unemployment benefits, monthly data, Feb 2011-Aug 2016
Unemployed and unemployment benefits, monthly data, Feb 2011-Aug 2016
 Unemployed (15-74 yrs seasonally adjusted)Unemployment benefits (15 yrs-retirement age)
2011 Feb425280
2011 Mar413270
2011 Apr411261
2011 May414256
2011 Jun409252
2011 Jul425254
2011 Aug427256
2011 Sep442252
2011 Oct458253
2011 Nov474258
2011 Dec473270
2012 Jan486292
2012 Feb482299
2012 Mar487296
2012 Apr502292
2012 May501291
2012 Jun502291
2012 Jul518298
2012 Aug517304
2012 Sep530304
2012 Oct539310
2012 Nov554322
2012 Dec572340
2013 Jan589369
2013 Feb601377
2013 Mar619380
2013 Apr625380
2013 May632378
2013 Jun648382
2013 Jul666395
2013 Aug670399
2013 Sep675400
2013 Oct680408
2013 Nov677419
2013 Dec687438
2014 Jan691460
2014 Feb699460
2014 Mar692454
2014 Apr684443
2014 May672436
2014 Jun656431
2014 Jul648437
2014 Aug637430
2014 Sep630420
2014 Oct632419
2014 Nov635425
2014 Dec643441
2015 Jan645458
2015 Feb633455
2015 Mar626443
2015 Apr625427
2015 May617416
2015 Jun611410
2015 Jul603420
2015 Aug604420
2015 Sep609417
2015 Oct616421
2015 Nov596427
2015 Dec588446
2016 Jan574465
2016 Feb581469
2016 Mar574470
2016 Apr572461
2016 May560448
2016 Jun550438
2016 Jul541432
2016 Aug521427

UWV: fewer people claim unemployment benefits

In the period January-August 2016, UWV granted 334 thousand new unemployment benefits , i.e. 56 thousand fewer (-14.4 percent) than in the same period last year. The reduction among over-55s was only 8.2 percent. In all sectors except retail department stores and the metal industry, the number of new unemployment benefits declined. In the sectors construction (-28.9 percent), printing and publishing (-25.4 percent) and health care and welfare (-24.6 percent), the number of benefit claimants decreased.

UWV: current unemployment benefits gradually down

The number of current unemployment benefits has fallen since April this year. Towards the end of August, UWV reported nearly 427 thousand current benefits, 5 thousand (-1.2 percent) down from July. Proportionally, current benefits decreased most among under-25s (-2.5 percent). In relative terms, the number of benefits declined most in sectors which tend to be sensitive to seasonal fluctuations, like construction (-5.2 percent) and agriculture (-5.1 percent). The number of unemployment benefits increased by 6.9 percent in the sector education as many temporary contracts were terminated at the end of the school year. It mainly concerns teachers in primary education and teachers of general subjects.

Sharp fall unemployment among over-45s in the past six months

In the past six months, the reduction in unemployment was most obvious among over-45s. People in this age bracket accounted for more than half of the decrease. After the peak in February 2014, unemployment started to fall, in particular among 25 to 45-year-olds. The number of unemployed over the age of 45 remained stable for two years, but during the past six months unemployment has decreased, also among over-45s. CBS reported earlier that unemployment among over-55s was below the level of one year previously. The share of long-term unemployed, on the other hand, has not fallen.

Employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)
Employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)
 Feb 14Aug 14Feb 15Aug 15Feb 16Aug 16
15-24 yrs 192169154158158150
25-44 yrs 261222225199182164
45-74 yrs 246246254247241207

More people in work

The population in the Netherlands includes 12.8 million people in the 15-74 age bracket, of whom 66.0 percent (8.4 million people, approximately 4.5 million men and 3.9 million women) had paid work in August. In the past six months, the number of people holding paid jobs has grown by 108 thousand. The increase includes more women than men.
The other nearly 4.4 million 15 to 74-year-olds do not have paid jobs; 521 thousand of them are unemployed and 3.8 million are not seeking work or not immediately available for the labour market. In the latter group, women constitute the majority (2.2 million).

Total and employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)
Total and employed labour force (seasonally adjusted)
 Total labour force (15-74 yrs)Employed labour force (15-74 yrs)
2011 Feb8.7028.277
2011 Mar8.6678.253
2011 Apr8.6638.252
2011 May8.6558.24
2011 Jun8.6778.268
2011 Jul8.6748.249
2011 Aug8.6938.267
2011 Sep8.748.299
2011 Oct8.7688.309
2011 Nov8.7948.32
2011 Dec8.818.337
2012 Jan8.8098.323
2012 Feb8.8048.322
2012 Mar8.8028.316
2012 Apr8.8198.317
2012 May8.8298.329
2012 Jun8.8298.327
2012 Jul8.8348.317
2012 Aug8.8648.347
2012 Sep8.8818.352
2012 Oct8.8888.349
2012 Nov8.8868.332
2012 Dec8.8978.325
2013 Jan8.8938.304
2013 Feb8.8948.294
2013 Mar8.9128.293
2013 Apr8.9068.281
2013 May8.9038.27
2013 Jun8.9118.263
2013 Jul8.9128.247
2013 Aug8.9198.249
2013 Sep8.9348.259
2013 Oct8.9518.271
2013 Nov8.9378.26
2013 Dec8.9018.214
2014 Jan8.8968.205
2014 Feb8.8948.195
2014 Mar8.8538.161
2014 Apr8.8558.171
2014 May8.8648.192
2014 Jun8.8468.19
2014 Jul8.8548.206
2014 Aug8.8588.222
2014 Sep8.8578.227
2014 Oct8.8938.261
2014 Nov8.9018.266
2014 Dec8.9018.258
2015 Jan8.9248.279
2015 Feb8.9118.278
2015 Mar8.9028.276
2015 Apr8.9098.285
2015 May8.9128.295
2015 Jun8.918.299
2015 Jul8.9028.299
2015 Aug8.918.307
2015 Sep8.9088.3
2015 Oct8.9168.3
2015 Nov8.8958.299
2015 Dec8.8988.31
2016 Jan8.8928.318
2016 Feb8.9058.324
2016 Mar8.9128.338
2016 Apr8.9468.374
2016 May8.9358.375
2016 Jun8.9418.391
2016 Jul8.9558.413
2016 Aug8.9538.432

Unemployment falling more rapidly

Unemployment has fallen at an increasing rate in recent months, mainly because fewer employed lose their jobs. The number of unemployed who find work remains invariably high. The total number people on the labour market (employed plus unemployed) rose slightly, because newcomers on the labour market outnumbered those withdrawing from the labour market.