In July, 3.6 million people aged 15 to 74 years did not have paid work for a variety of reasons. Aside from unemployed, they included 3.2 million who were not looking and/or were not immediately available for work. These people are not counted towards the labour force and mainly include retirees and people unable to work due to illness or disability. In the months May through July, the number of people outside the labour force fell by an average of 4 thousand per month.
|Year||Month||Unemployment (15-74 yrs, seasonally adjusted) (x 1,000)||WW unemployment benefits (15 yrs up to state pension age) (x 1,000)|
UWV: number of unemployment benefits stable
At the end of July 2023, UWV was providing 152 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits. This is 600 less than in the previous month (-0.4 percent). Since May 2023, the number of current WW benefits has fluctuated between 151 thousand and 153 thousand. Relative to July last year, the number of WW benefits was down by 4.7 thousand (-3.0 percent). In July this year, 20.2 thousand WW benefits were terminated and 19.5 thousand new benefits were granted.
The number of unemployment benefits in the education sector increased by 10.5 percent between June and July 2023. This is a common trend in the summer months and is related to expiring temporary employment contracts at the end of the school year. In absolute terms, however, the numbers are modest (a total increase of slightly over 500).
Unemployment up mainly among young people
From May through July, unemployment primarily went up among young people (15 to 24 years): from 7.9 percent in April to 8.6 percent in July. The increase was significantly lower among 25 to 44-year-olds and over-45s; these groups also barely showed any changes, with unemployment going from 2.8 to 2.9 percent for those aged 25 to 44 and remaining unchanged at 2.1 percent among the over-45s.
In the first half of this year, unemployment was fairly stable. As of January, the number of unemployed fluctuated between 353 thousand and 362 thousand. Only in April 2023 did it drop to 343 thousand. In recent months, no major shifts were seen in the number of WW benefits either.
Fewer find a job, more lose their job
In July, the number of unemployed was up by 19 thousand on three months previously (adding on average 6 thousand per month). This increase is the result of underlying flows between the employed, unemployed and non-labour force. This is visualised in the diagram below. The chart below this diagram visualises the development in the various flows throughout the months.
Both graphics show two different flows that lead to lower unemployment. The first flow are unemployed people finding a job; the second flow are unemployed people who stop seeking work and withdraw from the labour market.
There are also two opposite flows, those which can increase unemployment. These are employed people losing their job and people entering the labour market and seeking work for the first time. If they do not find work immediately, they become part of the unemployed labour force.
Unemployment fell in July (relative to three months previously) because fewer employed people lost their job than unemployed found a job. As fewer people found a job and more lost their job compared to June, this resulted in a lower decrease on balance: from -34 thousand in June to -20 thousand in July.
An inflow of unemployed from outside the labour force pushed up unemployment. In July this stood at 41 thousand on balance, up from 30 thousand in June.
All these flows ultimately led to an average increase of 6 thousand unemployed per month over the months May through July.
Every month, CBS publishes figures on the labour force in accordance with guidelines of the International Labour Organization (ILO). 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.