Unemployment down among non-western migrant group

Unemployment declined further in 2016 among people with a non-western migration background, but it is higher among the second generation than among the first. On the other hand, a larger share of the second generation have a starter qualification, i.e. a secondary school diploma (VWO, HAVO or MBO level 2). This is reported on the basis of new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
In 2016, the unemployment rate among the population group with a non-western migration background stood at 13.2 percent, down from 16.5 percent in 2014. The rate among this group is higher than among the native Dutch part of the population.

Unemployment rates here follow the definition of the International Labour Organisation (ILO): the share of people aged 15 to 74 years in the total labour force who are not in paid employment or self-employment, who have been seeking work recently and who are currently available for work.
This official unemployment rate does not include other groups of unemployed, e.g. persons ‘discouraged’ from seeking work because they view their job opportunities as limited.

Among the group with a non-western migration background, the unemployment rate started rising in 2008. The first generation reached its highest-ever level of unemployment in 2013, namely 16 percent. The second generation did so in 2014 at 17.8 percent. By 2016, these rates had declined to 12.5 and 14.3 percent respectively.

Unemployment among young people higher on average

As mentioned, unemployment is higher among the second generation than among the first. Age plays a role here: the first-generation group of non-western immigrants is older on average than the group born in the Netherlands (second generation). In general, unemployment levels are higher among young rather than among older age groups, while the younger group is more directly affected by the economic situation.

Net labour participation higher among second generation

Among the native Dutch labour force (aged 15 to 74 years), around two-thirds performed paid work in 2016. Net labour participation is lower among the group with a non-western migration background. In recent years, it has fallen behind among first-generation migrants, but since 2014 has risen significantly among the second generation. By 2016, the first-generation group had a labour participation rate of 54.2 percent, versus 60.1 percent in the second generation. The first generation There are comparatively more people who are not willing or unable to work among the first generation, for example due to retirement or disability.

Second generation more often has starter qualifications

In the group with a non-western migration background, the second generation includes a relatively larger group of employed people. Furthermore, the group has a higher percentage of people with basic (starter) qualifications. A basic qualification refers to a secondary school diploma (MBO level 2 or up, HAVO or VWO) and is considered to be the minimum level of education that allows people to succeed on the labour market in both the short and long term. Among the second generation, 58 percent had a basic qualification in 2016, against 55.4 percent among the first generation.