Unemployment further in decline

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.

Unemployed and unemployment benefits, montly data
Unemployed and unemployment benefits, montly data
 Unemployed (15-74 yrs seasonally adjusted)Unemployment benefits (15 yrs-retirement age)
2008 Jan331196
2008 Feb314192
2008 Mar312185
2008 Apr318179
2008 May320174
2008 Jun319169
2008 Jul315167
2008 Aug310165
2008 Sep316161
2008 Oct314161
2008 Nov315164
2008 Dec321171
2009 Jan326183
2009 Feb334191
2009 Mar342198
2009 Apr361207
2009 May367220
2009 Jun374239
2009 Jul391259
2009 Aug398270
2009 Sep408278
2009 Oct412289
2009 Nov423297
2009 Dec434309
2010 Jan444323
2010 Feb443329
2010 Mar440318
2010 Apr432309
2010 May434300
2010 Jun434289
2010 Jul438285
2010 Aug437281
2010 Sep433270
2010 Oct429263
2010 Nov431264
2010 Dec433272
2011 Jan430284
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
2016 Sep510424

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.

Number of unemployed by age (seasonally adjusted), monthly data
Number of unemployed by age (seasonally adjusted), monthly data
 15-24 yrs25-44 yrs45-74 yrs
2014 Jan188258245
2014 Feb192261246
2014 Mar186257248
2014 Apr182250252
2014 May178242251
2014 Jun175234248
2014 Jul175226247
2014 Aug169222246
2014 Sep164220246
2014 Oct165223245
2014 Nov164223248
2014 Dec164224255
2015 Jan164227254
2015 Feb154225254
2015 Mar152219255
2015 Apr154219252
2015 May156210250
2015 Jun157203251
2015 Jul159199245
2015 Aug158199247
2015 Sep161198250
2015 Oct163198255
2015 Nov156189251
2015 Dec155185248
2016 Jan155178242
2016 Feb158182241
2016 Mar159178236
2016 Apr159176238
2016 May158169233
2016 Jun152170228
2016 Jul152171217
2016 Aug150164207
2016 Sep149164197

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

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