Unemployment further in decline

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 510 thousand people were unemployed in September, bringing the jobless rate further down to 5.7 percent of the labour force. In the past three months, unemployment has decreased by an average of 13 thousand a month. The decrease is most noticeable among over-45s. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) says 424 thousand unemployment benefits were granted by the end of August.

Currently, unemployment is nearly 100 thousand below the level of one year previously, but still 200 thousand higher than in August 2008, just before the onset of the recession. Unemployment then reached its lowest level of the past years (310 thousand). Five and a half years later (February 2014), unemployment peaked at 699 thousand. The number of people in work grew by nearly 150 thousand in the past year.

UWV: number of new unemployment benefits drops dramatically in construction sector

In the period January-September 2016, UWV granted 377 thousand new unemployment benefits, i.e. 52 thousand fewer (-12.1 percent) than in the same period last year. With 8.7 percent, the smallest decline was in the over-50 age bracket. The number of new benefits dropped dramatically this year in the sectors construction (-27.7 percent), printing and publishing (-24.5 percent) and health care and welfare (-22.6 percent).

UWV: jobless rate high among over-50s and low educated

The number of unemployment benefits has been in decline since April 2016. UWV reports 424 thousand current benefits by the end of September, 2 thousand (-0.6 percent) down from August.

The jobless rate averaged 4.8 percent in September 2016 (expressed as a percentage of the labour force). The rate is much higher among lower educated (7.1 percent) and over-50s (7.5 percent). More than half (56 percent) of lower educated unemployed are in the over-50 age bracket.

Sharp drop unemployment among over-45s

Year-on-year, unemployment had fallen by nearly 100 thousand in September 2016. The biggest drop was in the over-45 age category, which accounted for more than half of the total unemployment reduction in the past year. In September 2016, the number of jobless over-45s dipped just below 200 thousand, as against 250 thousand in September 2015.

More people in work

The 15-74 age bracket in the Netherlands includes 12.8 million people, of whom more than 8.4 million (66 percent, about 4.5 million men and 3.9 million women) had paid jobs in September. In the past year, the number of people with paid jobs has risen by nearly 150 thousand. More women than men found paid work. Almost three-quarters of people who found paid work were older than 45.

The other more than 4.3 million 15 to 74-year-olds do not have paid work; 510 thousand are unemployed, 3.8 million are seeking jobs or not immediately available for the labour market. With 2.2 million, women constitute the majority in the latter group.

Unemployment falling more and 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 of people on the labour market (employed plus unemployed) rose slightly, because newcomers on the labour market outnumber those withdrawing from the labour market.

Labour market flows