Unemployment slightly up in June

© Hollandse Hoogte / Gerard Til Photo
In the period April through June 2019, the number of people aged 15 to 74 in paid employment grew by 12 thousand per month on average. There were 9.0 million people in work in June. Since March, unemployment has risen by an average of 2 thousand per month and stood at 313 thousand in June. These are people who did not have paid work, and who indicated they had recently looked and had been immediately available for work. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of new figures. At the end of June, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 243 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits.

There were 4.1 million people who did not have paid work for a variety of reasons. In addition to the unemployed mentioned earlier, 3.7 million people had not looked or/nor been immediately available for work recently. These people are not counted towards the labour force. Their number dropped by 5 thousand per month on average over the previous three months.

Unemployment indicator

In order to enable comparison of cyclical movements 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 313 thousand unemployed in June, equivalent to 3.4 percent of the labour force. This was still 3.3 percent in May.

Unemployment and unemployment benefits
   Unemployment indicator (ILO)
(15 to 74 yrs, seasonally adjusted) (x 1,000)
WW benefits (15 yrs to pension entitlement age) (x 1,000)
2011January430284
2011February425280
2011March413270
2011April411261
2011May414256
2011June409252
2011July425254
2011August427256
2011September442252
2011October458253
2011November474258
2011December473270
2012January486292
2012February482299
2012March487296
2012April502292
2012May501291
2012June502291
2012July518298
2012August517304
2012September530304
2012October539310
2012November554322
2012December572340
2013January589369
2013February601377
2013March619380
2013April625380
2013May632378
2013June648382
2013July666395
2013August670399
2013September675400
2013October680408
2013November677419
2013December687438
2014January691460
2014February699460
2014March692454
2014April684443
2014May672436
2014June656431
2014July648437
2014August637430
2014September630420
2014October632419
2014November635425
2014December643441
2015January645458
2015February633455
2015March626443
2015April625427
2015May617416
2015June611410
2015July603420
2015August604420
2015September609417
2015October616421
2015November596427
2015December588446
2016January574465
2016February581469
2016March574470
2016April572461
2016May560448
2016June550438
2016July541432
2016August521427
2016September510424
2016October502420
2016November499410
2016December482412
2017January480419
2017February473416
2017March463415
2017April456401
2017May456386
2017June446372
2017July436364
2017August426362
2017September422351
2017October404343
2017November397337
2017December395330
2018January380335
2018February367330
2018March357327
2018April355314
2018May352301
2018June354288
2018July348279
2018August353278
2018September343274
2018October337269
2018November326267
2018December329263
2019January329279
2019February312274
2019March307268
2019April300257
2019May302251
2019June313243

UWV: Number of WW benefits still falling

The number of unemployment benefits is still declining steadily. At the end of June 2019, UWV recorded 243 thousand current WW benefits. This is 3.2 percent less than in the previous month and 15.7 percent down year-on-year.

A drop in the number of current WW benefits was seen in all occupational groups. The year-on-year decline was strongest among educational occupations (-20.7 percent) and occupations in the service sector (-20.3 percent) The number of WW benefits also dropped in all sectors.

UWV: Inflow decline coming to a halt

In the first half of 2019, 172 thousand new WW benefits were issued. This is slightly more than during the first six months of 2018 (+0.4 percent). In the previous two years, there was still a substantial decline in unemployment inflow. This decline seems to have come to an end now.

In the first half of 2019, 192 thousand WW benefits were terminated. As this number still exceeds unemployment inflow, the number of current benefits has dropped.

More people losing jobs

Over the previous three months, unemployment rose slightly: by 2 thousand per month on average. It is the first time since October 2015 that unemployment is up again on average over three months. The unemployment rate represents a balance of various flows on the labour market. Unemployment growth in mainly due to a larger flow of employed losing their job. This number has risen since December. In November, there were 57 thousand unemployed who were still in employment three months previously, versus 73 thousand in June. However, the reverse flow - unemployed who find or return to employment - has remained more or less the same.

Unemployed still in work three months previously, seasonally adjusted
JaarMaandFrom employed to unemployed (x 1,000)
2015January108
2015February107
2015March106
2015April110
2015May103
2015June103
2015July99
2015August105
2015September106
2015October110
2015November103
2015December100
2016January97
2016February103
2016March95
2016April94
2016May91
2016June89
2016July89
2016August86
2016September87
2016October82
2016November84
2016December82
2017January83
2017February85
2017March82
2017April77
2017May79
2017June81
2017July80
2017August78
2017September77
2017October74
2017November72
2017December66
2018January66
2018February62
2018March57
2018April62
2018May61
2018June64
2018July62
2018August61
2018September59
2018October60
2018November57
2018December62
2019January64
2019February64
2019March65
2019April67
2019May70
2019June73

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 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 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 (Q1 2019). The total unused labour potential in Q1 2019 comprised 1.1 million people. This was still 1.2 million one year previously. Development of the total unused labour potential closely follows developments in unemployment.

Beroepsbevolking van 15 tot 75 jaar Niet-beroepsbevolking Niet gezocht en niet beschikbaar Wil en/of kan niet werken Wil wel werken Gezocht en niet beschikbaar Beschikbaar en niet gezocht Vanwege weinig resultaat Vanwege andere reden Beroepsbevolking Werkloos (ILO-definitie) Werkzaam Deeltijd Wil meer uren werken, beschikbaar Voltijd

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.

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