Falling unemployment, mainly among youth

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), unemployment declined by an average of 6 thousand per month over the previous three months and stood at 456 thousand (5.1 percent of the labour force) in May. The sharpest decline was seen among young people. The number of people in paid employment grew by an average of 14 thousand per month between March and May. At the end of May, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) paid 386 thousand unemployment benefits.

Unemployed and unemployment benefits
 Unemployed (15-74 yrs seasonally adjusted)Unemployment benefits (15 yrs-retirement age)
2009 J326183
2009 F334191
2009 M342198
2009 A361207
2009 M367220
2009 J374239
2009 J391259
2009 A398270
2009 S408278
2009 O412289
2009 N423297
2009 D434309
2010 J444323
2010 F443329
2010 M440318
2010 A432309
2010 M434300
2010 J434289
2010 J438285
2010 A437281
2010 S433270
2010 O429263
2010 N431264
2010 D433272
2011 J430284
2011 F425280
2011 M413270
2011 A411261
2011 M414256
2011 J409252
2011 J425254
2011 A427256
2011 S442252
2011 O458253
2011 N474258
2011 D473270
2012 J486292
2012 F482299
2012 M487296
2012 A502292
2012 M501291
2012 J502291
2012 J518298
2012 A517304
2012 S530304
2012 O539310
2012 N554322
2012 D572340
2013 J589369
2013 F601377
2013 M619380
2013 A625380
2013 M632378
2013 J648382
2013 J666395
2013 A670399
2013 S675400
2013 O680408
2013 N677419
2013 D687438
2014 J691460
2014 F699460
2014 M692454
2014 A684443
2014 M672436
2014 J656431
2014 J648437
2014 A637430
2014 S630420
2014 O632419
2014 N635425
2014 D643441
2015 J645458
2015 F633455
2015 M626443
2015 A625427
2015 M617416
2015 J611410
2015 J603420
2015 A604420
2015 S609417
2015 O616421
2015 N596427
2015 D588446
2016 J574465
2016 F581469
2016 M574470
2016 A572461
2016 M560448
2016 J550438
2016 J541432
2016 A521427
2016 S510424
2016 O502420
2016 N499410
2016 D482412
"17 J480419
"17 F473416
"17 M463415
"17 A456401
"17 M456386

UWV: sharp drop among young claimants

In May 2017, UWV reported a total number of 386 thousand current unemployment (WW) benefits, i.e. a decline by 16 thousand (-3.9 percent) relative to April. The number of young benefit claimants in particular declined substantially (-10.2 percent). The smallest decrease (-2.2 percent) was seen in the age group 55 years and over. The decline in number of unemployment benefits among men (-5 percent) was much sharper than among women (-2.8 percent).

Broken down by sector, the drop was relatively strongest in temporary employment, a sector with many young people. Male-dominated sectors such as agriculture (-8.9 percent) and construction (-8.4 percent) saw a more than average decrease.

At the end of May, the number of unemployment benefits was 63 thousand lower than one year previously (-13.9 percent). In the age group 55 years and over, the decrease was below the average trend with -8.3 percent.

UWV: ended benefits outnumber new ones in 2017

In the first five months of this year, UWV provided 175 thousand new unemployment benefits and ended 201 thousand existing ones, i.e. 20 percent and 7 percent respectively down from the same period last year.

In nearly all sectors, the number of new benefits decreased year-on-year. In the sectors construction and multiple stores, this number was even reduced by half. The banking sector, however, recorded an increase: by over 26 percent.

Further drop in youth unemployment

In May, 5.1 percent of the total labour force was unemployed. This is equal to the level of April, but lower than three months ago when the unemployment rate stood at 5.3 percent.

Unemployment dropped among young people under 25 in particular. The unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent in February to 9.0 percent in May: the lowest level since March 2009. Among people aged 25 and over, there were 0.2 percent point fewer unemployed in May than three months previously.

Rate of unemployment (seas. adjusted) by age
 15-24 yrs25-44 yrs45-74 yrs
2016 J11.24.96.2
2016 F11.356.2
2016 M11.44.96.1
2016 A11.24.86.1
2016 M11.14.66
2016 J10.84.75.9
2016 J10.84.75.6
2016 A10.64.55.3
2016 S10.54.55.1
2016 O10.54.35.1
2016 N10.34.35.1
2016 D10.24.14.9
2017 J9.84.14.8
2017 F9.744.9
2017 M9.63.84.8
2017 A9.53.74.7
2017 M93.94.8

More people in employment

There are 12.9 million people in the Netherlands in the age category 15-74 years. In May, 66.5 percent of them were in paid employment. This is equivalent to 8.6 million people (4.6 million men and 4 million women). Over the past three months, the number of people in paid employment has grown by an average of 14 thousand per month.

In May, nearly 1.3 million young people were in paid employment. This means that the number of employed youngsters is back to the level of before the economic crisis. Over the past three months, the number of young people in paid employment has grown by an average of 5 thousand per month.

Altogether, 4.3 million people aged 15-74 are not in paid employment; 456 thousand of them are unemployed and nearly 3.9 million are not looking or not 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)
 TotalEmployed
2009 J87558429
2009 F87738439
2009 M87748432
2009 A87648403
2009 M87588391
2009 J87468371
2009 J87418350
2009 A87328334
2009 S87328325
2009 O87198307
2009 N87108287
2009 D87198285
2010 J87178273
2010 F87038260
2010 M86848244
2010 A87028270
2010 M87168282
2010 J87048270
2010 J87218283
2010 A87158278
2010 S87128279
2010 O87188289
2010 N87288298
2010 D87308297
2011 J87048274
2011 F87028277
2011 M86678253
2011 A86638252
2011 M86558240
2011 J86778268
2011 J86748249
2011 A86938267
2011 S87408299
2011 O87688309
2011 N87948320
2011 D88108337
2012 J88098323
2012 F88048322
2012 M88028316
2012 A88198317
2012 M88298329
2012 J88298327
2012 J88348317
2012 A88648347
2012 S88818352
2012 O88888349
2012 N88868332
2012 D88978325
2013 J88938304
2013 F88948294
2013 M89128293
2013 A89068281
2013 M89038270
2013 J89118263
2013 J89128247
2013 A89198249
2013 S89348259
2013 O89518271
2013 N89378260
2013 D89018214
2014 J88968205
2014 F88948195
2014 M88538161
2014 A88558171
2014 M88648192
2014 J88468190
2014 J88548206
2014 A88588222
2014 S88578227
2014 O88938261
2014 N89018266
2014 D89018258
2015 J89248279
2015 F89118278
2015 M89028276
2015 A89098285
2015 M89128295
2015 J89108299
2015 J89028299
2015 A89108307
2015 S89088300
2015 O89168300
2015 N88958299
2015 D88988310
2016 J88928318
2016 F89058324
2016 M89128338
2016 A89468374
2016 M89358375
2016 J89418391
2016 J89558413
2016 A89538432
2016 S89588448
2016 O89658463
2016 N89658466
2016 D89698487
"17 J89918511
"17 F89778504
"17 M89938530
"17 A89958539
"17 M90028546

More unemployed find work

Unemployment is falling as more unemployed people find work than workers become unemployed. In May, there were 119 thousand people in employment who were still unemployed three months previously. In the same period, 79 people who were still in paid employment three months previously had become unemployed. The decline in unemployment was slightly tempered as the number of job seekers who could not find work (174 thousand) exceeded the number of people who gave up looking for work (151 thousand).

Labour market flows