Youth unemployment at all-time low this century

For eight months now, unemployment among youth has fallen below the lowest point before the economic crisis in 2008. At European level, the Netherlands is in the top three of countries with the lowest youth unemployment rate. Only Germany and the Czech Republic have lower rates, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

Adjusted for seasonal effects, there were 104 thousand young unemployed between the ages of 15 and 24 in Q1 2018. This is 7.2 percent of the young labour force, versus 8.5 percent in Q1 2008.

Unemployment among this group is always higher compared to the older working population. In Q1, the unemployment rate among the labour force aged 25 to 74 years stood at 3.5 percent, still slightly higher than at the onset of the crisis.

Unemployment per quarter, seasonally adjusted
   15 to 24 yrs (% of the labour force)25 to 74 yrs (% of the labour force)

Three-quarters of young unemployed still in education

Over three-quarters of the young unemployed are still in education. In most cases, they are looking for a side job. The unemployment rate among these secondary and tertiary students stood at 8.5 percent in Q1 2018 (not seasonally adjusted). In the same quarter in 2008, i.e. at the onset of the economic crisis, the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent.

Of all young people in the labour force not in education, 6.1 percent were unemployed in Q1. This means unemployment was lower than ten years previously, when still 8.5 percent of the young labour force not in education were unemployed.

Youth unemployment, first quarter (not seasonally adjusted)
   In mainstream education (% of the labour force aged 15 to 24 yrs)Not in mainstream education (% of the labour force aged 15 to 24 yrs)

Youth unemployment relatively low in the Netherlands

The Dutch youth unemployment rate is relatively low compared to other European countries. Germany and the Czech Republic were the only countries in 2017 with lower rates. When looking at the EU average from 2003 onwards, the level of youth unemployment was lowest in 2007: 15.5 percent. That year, the youth unemployment rate was lower in the Netherlands than in Germany and the Czech Republic. Both these countries, however, have seen a relatively sharper decline since 2007 compared to the Netherlands. Youth unemployment has gone down relatively fast in Hungary and Poland as well.

The level is highest in the southern European countries of Greece, Spain and Italy, where unemployment saw a relatively rapid increase compared to ten years previously.

EU countries with highest and lowest youth unemployment, 2017
 2007 (% of the labour force aged 15 to 24 yrs)2017 (% of the labour force aged 15 to 24 yrs)
Czech Republic10.77.9
EU-28 15.516.8
Source: CBS, Eurostat