Unemployment continues downward trend

© Hollandse Hoogte
Unemployment in the Netherlands fell by 13 thousand per month over the previous three months, ending at 502 thousand in October. This amounts to 5.6 percent in the labour force. As figures by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) indicate, the rate of decline seen during the – late – summer months of 2016 is continuing into autumn. By the end of October, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) was providing 420 thousand unemployment benefits.
The labour market continues to expand, as was the case during the summer months. This means the number of people in employment is growing at a faster rate than the decline in unemployment, with relatively more people aged 45 and over finding employment.
Unemployment and unemployment benefits, monthly data
Unemployment and unemployment benefits, monthly data
 Unemployed (15-74 yrs seas. adjusted)Unemployment benefits (15 yrs - AOW retirement age)
Oct
"o8
314161
315164
321171
326183
334191
342198
361207
367220
374239
391259
398270
408278
Oct
"o9
412289
423297
434309
444323
443329
440318
432309
434300
434289
438285
437281
433270
Oct
"10
429263
431264
433272
430284
425280
413270
411261
414256
409252
425254
427256
442252
Oct
"11
458253
474258
473270
486292
482299
487296
502292
501291
502291
518298
517304
530304
Oct
"12
539310
554322
572340
589369
601377
619380
625380
632378
648382
666395
670399
675400
Oct
"13
680408
677419
687438
691460
699460
692454
684443
672436
656431
648437
637430
630420
Oct
"14
632419
635425
643441
645458
633455
626443
625427
617416
611410
603420
604420
609417
Oct
"15
616421
596427
588446
574465
581469
574470
572461
560448
550438
541432
521427
510424
Oct
"16
502420

UWV: steady decline in unemployment benefits

The number of current unemployment (WW) benefits has been falling since April 2016. Towards the end of October, UWV paid 420 thousand current unemployment benefits, down 5 thousand (-1.1 percent) compared to September.
In October, the number of unemployment benefits declined most rapidly in the sectors construction (-5.5 percent) and education (-4.0 percent). The sector care and welfare has shown a positive trend since the beginning of this year with 72 thousand current benefits by end of October, 1.8 percent fewer than the previous month and down by 4 percent year-on-year. The number of benefits only went up in sectors which are affected by the seasons, e.g. hotels and restaurants (+4.1 percent) and agriculture (+3.8 percent).

UWV granting fewer new benefits in 2016

In the period January to October 2016, UWV granted 411 thousand new unemployment benefits, down 67 thousand (-14.1 percent) on the same period last year. Developments are very unequal across the sectors, ranging from a 29.6 percent decline in the sector construction to a 30.3 percent rise in the retail and wholesale trade sector; the latter caused by several major bankruptcies in that sector earlier this year.

Unemployment decline strong in European perspective

The unemployment rate decline in the Netherlands has been well above the average seen across the European Union this year. Compared with neighbouring countries, the downward trend is most significant in the Netherlands. The decrease is even sharper in eastern Europe; the Czech Republic now has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU, Hungary has meanwhile overtaken the Netherlands and Poland is following closely.
Top 10 lowest unemployment rates in EU (seasonally adjusted)
Top 10 lowest unemployment rates in EU (seasonally adjusted)
 Sep. 2015Sep. 2016
DK66.3
AT5.76.3
RO6.95.9
PL7.35.7
NL6.95.6
HU6.65
UK5.44.9
MT5.34.7
DE4.54.1
CZ4.74

More people at work

There are currently 12.8 million people aged 15 to 74 years in the Netherlands. In October, 66.1 percent had paid employment. This amounts to nearly 8.5 million people, including over 4.5 million men and 3.9 million women. Over the past three months, the number of people in paid employment has grown by an average of 17 thousand per month; over three-fourths were aged 45 and over.
Among the group aged 15 to 74 years, more than 4.3 million do not have paid employment. Of this group, 502 thousand are unemployed while 3.8 million are either not looking or not immediately available for work. In the latter group, women form the majority with 2.2 million.
Total and working labour force (seasonally adjusted), monthly data
Total and working labour force (seasonally adjusted), monthly data
 Employed (15-74 yrs)Total (15-74 yrs)
Oct
"o8
83958709
84088723
84088730
84298755
84398773
84328774
84038764
83918758
83718746
83508741
83348732
83258732
Oct
"o9
83078719
82878710
82858719
82738717
82608703
82448684
82708702
82828716
82708704
82838721
82788715
82798712
Oct
"10
82898718
82988728
82978730
82748704
82778702
82538667
82528663
82408655
82688677
82498674
82678693
82998740
Oct
"11
83098768
83208794
83378810
83238809
83228804
83168802
83178819
83298829
83278829
83178834
83478864
83528881
Oct
"12
83498888
83328886
83258897
83048893
82948894
82938912
82818906
82708903
82638911
82478912
82498919
82598934
Oct
"13
82718951
82608937
82148901
82058896
81958894
81618853
81718855
81928864
81908846
82068854
82228858
82278857
Oct
"14
82618893
82668901
82588901
82798924
82788911
82768902
82858909
82958912
82998910
82998902
83078910
83008908
Oct
"15
83008916
82998895
83108898
83188892
83248905
83388912
83748946
83758935
83918941
84138955
84328953
84488958
Oct
"16
84638965

Increasingly sharper decline in unemployment

The number of unemployed has decreased at an ever faster pace in recent months. This is mainly due to fewer working people losing their jobs. At the same time, the number of unemployed finding a job remains consistently high.
Total labour market supply (people in employment and the unemployed) is rising slightly as more people enter the labour market than are leaving.