Employment up in July, except youth employment

The number of people aged 15 to 74 who were in paid employment grew by an average of 17 thousand per month over the previous three months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that total employment reached almost 8.8 million in July, as indicated by the latest figures. Employment grew among over-25s in particular. Youth employment remained virtually unchanged. Nearly 4.2 million people did not have paid work for a variety of reasons; this included 348 thousand people who indicated they had recently looked and had been immediately available for work. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, these constitute the unemployed. Their number fell by an average 2 thousand per month over the previous three months. As a result, the unemployment rate in the Dutch labour force stood at 3.8 percent in July.

The remainder of the group not in employment (over 3.8 million) had not looked or/nor been immediately available for work recently. Their number dropped by an average 11 thousand per month over the previous three months. At the end of July, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 279 thousand current unemployment (WW) benefits.

348 thousand unemployed according to ILO definition

In order to enable comparison of cyclical developments in the labour market between countries, the unemployment indicator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is often taken as a measure. According to this indicator, the ‘unemployed’ includes all 15 to 74-year-olds who do not have paid work but who have been looking for paid work recently and who are immediately available. There were 348 thousand unemployed in July, equivalent to 3.8 percent of the labour force. The unemployment rate is still higher than at the start of the economic crisis in the second half of 2008, when the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent.

Unemployment (ILO indicator, seasonally adjusted) and unemployment benefits (x 1,000)
 Unemployment indicator (ILO)
(15 to 74 yrs, seasonally adjusted)
Unemployment benefits (15 yrs to pension entitlement age)
2011 January430284
2011 February425280
2011 March413270
2011 April411261
2011 May414256
2011 June409252
2011 July425254
2011 August427256
2011 September442252
2011 October458253
2011 November474258
2011 December473270
2012 January486292
2012 February482299
2012 March487296
2012 April502292
2012 May501291
2012 June502291
2012 July518298
2012 August517304
2012 September530304
2012 Oktober539310
2012 November554322
2012 December572340
2013 Januari589369
2013 Februari601377
2013 Maart619380
2013 April625380
2013 Mei632378
2013 Juni648382
2013 Juli666395
2013 Augustus670399
2013 September675400
2013 Oktober680408
2013 November677419
2013 December687438
2014 Januari691460
2014 Februari699460
2014 Maart692454
2014 April684443
2014 Mei672436
2014 Juni656431
2014 Juli648437
2014 Augustus637430
2014 September630420
2014 Oktober632419
2014 November635425
2014 December643441
2015 Januari645458
2015 Februari633455
2015 Maart626443
2015 April625427
2015 Mei617416
2015 Juni611410
2015 Juli603420
2015 Augustus604420
2015 September609417
2015 Oktober616421
2015 November596427
2015 December588446
2016 Januari574465
2016 Februari581469
2016 Maart574470
2016 April572461
2016 Mei560448
2016 Juni550438
2016 Juli541432
2016 Augustus521427
2016 September510424
2016 Oktober502420
2016 November499410
2016 December482412
2017 Januari480419
2017 Februari473416
2017 Maart463415
2017 April456401
2017 Mei456386
2017 Juni446372
2017 Juli436364
2017 Augustus426362
2017 September422351
2017 Oktober404343
2017 November397337
2017 December395330
2018 Januari380335
2018 Februari367330
2018 Maart357327
2018 April355314
2018 Mei352301
2018 Juni354288
2018 Juli348279

UWV: Number of unemployment benefits down by nearly 9 thousand

At the end of July, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 279 thousand current unemployment (WW) benefits. The number fell by nearly 9 thousand (-3.0 percent) on the previous month. Relative to one year previously (July 2017), this represents a decrease of 23.3 percent or over 85 thousand unemployment benefits. A year-on-year decline in the number of unemployment benefits was seen in all occupational groups. The strongest decline was seen in technical occupations (-31.5 percent) as well as in transport and logistics (-30.5 percent). A benefit recipient may have more than one unemployment (WW) benefit. At the end of July, 270 thousand people were receiving one or more unemployment (WW) benefits.

UWV: Strong decline in new benefits compared to 2017

In the first seven months of 2018, UWV provided 198 thousand new unemployment benefits. This is 17.8 percent less than in the same period in 2017. In the period from January to July 2018 inclusive, a total of 248 thousand WW benefits were terminated, i.e. 13.8 percent fewer than in the same period last year.

Over-25s in particular finding new jobs

The rise in employment is entirely on account of the group of 25 to 74-year-olds. Over the past three months, the number of employed over-25s has grown by an average of 18 thousand per month. For the group of 45 to 74-year-olds, this upward trend started at the beginning of 2014. In the other group, the 25 to 44-year-olds, the trend started only at the beginning of this year, and mainly among women. This is also the age category with the strongest decline in unemployment for the past three months. In July, 2.6 percent of the labour force aged between 25 and 45 years were unemployed. This was still 2.9 percent three months previously. Among young people (under-25s), employment remained more or less the same in the first half of this year, while the unemployment rate even increased slightly, from 6.9 to 7.3 percent.

Unemployment (%)
 15 to 24 yrs25 to 44 yrs45 to 74 yrs
2011 January
2011 February9.93.74.2
2011 March9.43.64.3
2011 April9.33.64.2
2011 May9.23.64.3
2011 June9.53.64.1
2011 July9.93.74.2
2011 August9.83.94.1
2011 September10.244.1
2011 October10.34.34.3
2011 November10.74.44.4
2011 December10.84.34.3
2012 January11.24.54.4
2012 February11.74.24.4
2012 March11.64.44.4
2012 April11.64.64.6
2012 May11.34.64.6
2012 June11.54.74.5
2012 July11.554.6
2012 August11.64.84.6
2012 September12.14.94.7
2012 October12.154.8
2012 November125.25
2012 December12.35.45.2
2013 January12.55.75.3
2013 February12.55.85.5
2013 March12.665.7
2013 April12.76.15.8
2013 May12.66.25.9
2013 June136.36
2013 July13.66.56.1
2013 August13.56.66.2
2013 September13.96.66.2
2013 October13.86.66.3
2013 November13.86.56.3
2013 December13.76.76.5
2014 January13.56.86.6
2014 February13.86.96.6
2014 March13.66.86.7
2014 April13.26.76.8
2014 May136.56.7
2014 June12.86.36.6
2014 July12.86.16.6
2014 August12.466.5
2014 September125.96.5
2014 October1266.5
2014 November11.966.5
2014 December11.866.7
2015 January11.76.16.7
2015 February116.16.7
2015 March10.85.96.7
2015 April10.95.96.6
2015 May11.15.76.5
2015 June11.15.56.6
2015 July11.35.46.4
2015 August11.25.46.4
2015 September11.55.46.5
2015 October11.65.46.6
2015 November11.25.26.5
2015 December11.25.16.4
2016 January11.24.96.2
2016 February11.356.2
2016 March11.44.96.1
2016 April11.24.86.1
2016 May11.14.66
2016 June10.84.75.9
2016 July10.84.75.6
2016 August10.64.55.3
2016 September10.54.55.1
2016 October10.54.35.1
2016 November10.34.35.1
2016 December10.24.14.9
2017 January9.84.14.8
2017 February9.744.9
2017 March9.63.84.8
2017 April9.53.74.7
2017 May93.94.8
2017 June8.93.74.7
2017 July8.83.84.4
2017 August8.93.74.1
2017 September8.53.74.2
2017 October7.93.54.1
2017 November7.83.53.9
2017 December83.34
2018 January7.43.23.9
2018 February7.233.8
2018 March72.93.8
2018 April6.92.93.7
2018 May6.92.83.7
2018 June7.22.73.8
2018 July7.32.63.7

Unused labour potential

Every month, CBS publishes figures on the total employed and non-employed population. The latter group comprises the unemployed labour force and people not included in the labour force. The unemployed labour force does not include the total unused labour potential; other groups are included aside from the unemployed according to the ILO indicator. These are people who have either looked for work recently or are immediately available for work. They are counted towards the unused labour potential, but fall outside the scope of the ILO definition of employment. People who work part-time but want to work more hours and are immediately available are also included in the unused labour potential.

These groups are reported on every quarter in terms of size and composition. The overall picture represented here (see figure below) is based on the latest quarterly figures (April to June 2018), which were published earlier this week. The total unused labour potential in Q2 2018 comprised more than 1.1 million people. This was almost 1.4 million one year previously. Development of the total unused labour potential closely follows developments in unemployment according to the ILO definition.