The remainder of the group not in employment (nearly 3.8 million) had not looked or/nor been immediately available for work recently. Their number dropped by an average 16 thousand per month between June and August. At the end of August, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 278 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits.
In order to enable comparison of cyclical developments in the labour market between countries, the unemployment indicator of the 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 353 thousand unemployed in August, equivalent to 3.9 percent of the labour force.
|Unemployment indicator (ILO)|
(15 to 74 yrs, seasonally adjusted) (x 1,000)
|Unemployment benefits (15 yrs to pension entitlement age) (x 1,000)|
UWV: 278 thousand WW benefits
At the end of August, UWV provided 278 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits, less by over a thousand on the previous month; compared to August 2017, a decline of 84 thousand (-23.2 percent). At the end of August 2018, there were 269 thousand recipients of one or more unemployment benefits.
UWV: both inflow and outflow are down
In the period from January to August 2018, UWV provided 230 thousand new unemployment benefits and terminated 282 thousand benefits. This represents a decline in inflow of 16.7 percent and a decline in outflow of 13.6 percent relative to the same period last year.
Benefit outflow falling in particular
The number of unemployed has been falling since the beginning of 2014. The decline became progressively less substantial in 2018. The average number of unemployed has remained stable over the previous three months. The change in number of unemployed is the balance of four different flows. People may become unemployed when they lose their job but also when they start looking for a job, for example school leavers or people rejoining the labour market. The group of unemployed may also become smaller as people find work or leave the labour market.
The number of unemployed who find a job has dropped. There are also fewer unemployed who leave the labour market. As a result, the outflow of unemployed is almost equal to the inflow. On the one hand, these are people in work who have lost their job; on the other hand, people not in work who start looking for a job.
Unused labour potential
Every month, CBS publishes figures on the size of the employed labour force and the non-employed population. The latter group comprises the unemployed labour force as well as people not included in the labour force (all these groups follow the ILO definition). However, the unemployed labour force does not represent all unused labour potential. According to the ILO indicator, this includes other groups of people aside from the unemployed. These people have either looked for work recently or are immediately available for work. They are counted towards 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 only reported on every quarter in terms of size and composition. The overall picture provided in the table below is based on the latest quarterly figures (April to June 2018). Development of the total unused labour potential closely follows developments in unemployment according to the ILO definition. The total unused labour potential dropped from 1.8 million people in Q1 2014 to over 1.1 million in Q2 2018. More than three-quarters have a lower or intermediate education level.
Every month, CBS publishes figures on the labour force in accordance with international guidelines. The corresponding indicators, i.e. the employed and unemployed labour force, are used around the world to describe cyclical developments on the labour market. Monthly figures are essential in this respect. In addition, UWV issues its own monthly figures on unemployment benefits. Figures released by UWV do not correspond one-to-one with the labour force indicators.