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)
2011January430284
February425280
March413270
April411261
May414256
June409252
July425254
August427256
September442252
October458253
November474258
December473270
2012January486292
February482299
March487296
April502292
May501291
June502291
July518298
August517304
September530304
Oktober539310
November554322
December572340
2013Januari589369
Februari601377
Maart619380
April625380
Mei632378
Juni648382
Juli666395
Augustus670399
September675400
Oktober680408
November677419
December687438
2014Januari691460
Februari699460
Maart692454
April684443
Mei672436
Juni656431
Juli648437
Augustus637430
September630420
Oktober632419
November635425
December643441
2015Januari645458
Februari633455
Maart626443
April625427
Mei617416
Juni611410
Juli603420
Augustus604420
September609417
Oktober616421
November596427
December588446
2016Januari574465
Februari581469
Maart574470
April572461
Mei560448
Juni550438
Juli541432
Augustus521427
September510424
Oktober502420
November499410
December482412
2017Januari480419
Februari473416
Maart463415
April456401
Mei456386
Juni446372
Juli436364
Augustus426362
September422351
Oktober404343
November397337
December395330
2018Januari380335
Februari367330
Maart357327
April355314
Mei352301
Juni354288
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
2011January 10.53.74.2
February9.93.74.2
March9.43.64.3
April9.33.64.2
May9.23.64.3
June9.53.64.1
July9.93.74.2
August9.83.94.1
September10.244.1
October10.34.34.3
November10.74.44.4
December10.84.34.3
2012January11.24.54.4
February11.74.24.4
March11.64.44.4
April11.64.64.6
May11.34.64.6
June11.54.74.5
July11.554.6
August11.64.84.6
September12.14.94.7
October12.154.8
November125.25
December12.35.45.2
2013January12.55.75.3
February12.55.85.5
March12.665.7
April12.76.15.8
May12.66.25.9
June136.36
July13.66.56.1
August13.56.66.2
September13.96.66.2
October13.86.66.3
November13.86.56.3
December13.76.76.5
2014January13.56.86.6
February13.86.96.6
March13.66.86.7
April13.26.76.8
May136.56.7
June12.86.36.6
July12.86.16.6
August12.466.5
September125.96.5
October1266.5
November11.966.5
December11.866.7
2015January11.76.16.7
February116.16.7
March10.85.96.7
April10.95.96.6
May11.15.76.5
June11.15.56.6
July11.35.46.4
August11.25.46.4
September11.55.46.5
October11.65.46.6
November11.25.26.5
December11.25.16.4
2016January11.24.96.2
February11.356.2
March11.44.96.1
April11.24.86.1
May11.14.66
June10.84.75.9
July10.84.75.6
August10.64.55.3
September10.54.55.1
October10.54.35.1
November10.34.35.1
December10.24.14.9
2017January9.84.14.8
February9.744.9
March9.63.84.8
April9.53.74.7
May93.94.8
June8.93.74.7
July8.83.84.4
August8.93.74.1
September8.53.74.2
October7.93.54.1
November7.83.53.9
December83.34
2018January7.43.23.9
February7.233.8
March72.93.8
April6.92.93.7
May6.92.83.7
June7.22.73.8
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.