Unemployment continues to fall

16/03/2017 15:00
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that unemployment declined by an average of 9 thousand a month over the past three months and stood at 473 thousand (5.3 percent of the labour force) in February. The number of people with paid jobs has grown by an average of 13 thousand a month during the past three months. At the end of February, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) paid 416 thousand unemployment benefits. On the third Thursday of each month, CBS and UWV always publish the most recent figures regarding unemployment and unemployment benefits.

Unemployed and unemployment benefits
y
326
334
342
361
367
374
391
398
408
412
423
434
444
443
440
432
434
434
438
437
433
429
431
433
430
425
413
411
414
409
425
427
442
458
474
473
486
482
487
502
501
502
518
517
530
539
554
572
589
601
619
625
632
648
666
670
675
680
677
687
691
699
692
684
672
656
648
637
630
632
635
643
645
633
626
625
617
611
603
604
609
616
596
588
574
581
574
572
560
550
541
521
510
502
499
482
480
473

UWV: fewer benefits paid to women

UWV reports that the number of current unemployment benefits stood at 416 thousand in February 2017 i.e. a decline by 3 thousand (-0.7 percent) relative to January. The number of female benefit recipients decreased by 1.3 percent, the number of male recipients remained more or less stable compared to January. In traditionally female-dominated sectors like education (-2.8 percent) and health care and welfare (-1.2 percent), the rate of decline was indeed above average.

UWV: more new unemployment benefits in banking, sharp decline in retail chain store sector

Over the first two months of this year, UWV provided 81 thousand new unemployment benefits, 20.3 percent down from the same period last year. Year-on-year, the number of new benefits decreased across all sectors except in the banking sector where a sharp rise (+33 percent) was recorded. Employees older than 50 were hit hardest (+70 percent). Proportionally, the number of new benefits fell most rapidly in the sectors retail chain stores (-61.7 percent) and construction (-49 percent).

Decline unemployment among over-45s levels off

Unemployment has declined since early 2014, initially among young people and 25 to 44-year-olds. The decline among over-45s followed two years later, but the rate in this age group fell more rapidly. Late 2016 and early 2017, the decline in unemployment among over- 45s levelled off and remained stuck at almost 5 percent of the labour force, but unemployment among under-45s continued to fall.

Rate of unemployment (seas. adjusted) by age
y
13,5
13,8
13,6
13,2
13
12,8
12,8
12,4
12
12
11,9
11,8
11,7
11
10,8
10,9
11,1
11,1
11,3
11,2
11,5
11,6
11,2
11,2
11,2
11,3
11,4
11,2
11,1
10,8
10,8
10,6
10,5
10,5
10,3
10,2
9,8
9,7

More people find work

There are 12.8 million people in the Netherlands in the age category 15-74. In February, 66.2 percent of them were in paid employment. This age category includes 8.5 million people (4.6 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 13 thousand a month.

Altogether, 4.3 million people in the age category 15-74 do not have paid work; 473 thousand are unemployed and nearly 3.9 million are not looking or immediately available for work. With 2.2 million, women constitute the majority in the latter group.

Total and working labour force (15-74 years, seasonally adjusted)
y
8755
8773
8774
8764
8758
8746
8741
8732
8732
8719
8710
8719
8717
8703
8684
8702
8716
8704
8721
8715
8712
8718
8728
8730
8704
8702
8667
8663
8655
8677
8674
8693
8740
8768
8794
8810
8809
8804
8802
8819
8829
8829
8834
8864
8881
8888
8886
8897
8893
8894
8912
8906
8903
8911
8912
8919
8934
8951
8937
8901
8896
8894
8853
8855
8864
8846
8854
8858
8857
8893
8901
8901
8924
8911
8902
8909
8912
8910
8902
8910
8908
8916
8895
8898
8892
8905
8912
8946
8935
8941
8955
8953
8958
8965
8965
8969
8991
8977

More unemployed find work

Unemployment is falling because the people who find work outnumber those who become unemployed. Over the past three months, 123 thousand previously employed individuals became unemployed. In the same period, 85 thousand individuals who were still employed three months ago became unemployed. The decline in unemployment was slightly tempered as the number of job seekers who could not find work (172 thousand) was higher than the number of people who gave up looking for work (160 thousand).

Labour market flows

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