In August, 3.6 million people aged 15 to 74 did not have paid work for various reasons. Aside from the unemployed, 3.2 million people were not looking and/or immediately available for work; they are not counted towards the labour force. They are mainly retirees and people unable to work due to illness or disability. From June through August, the number of people outside the labour force declined by an average of 7 thousand per month.
|Jaar||Maand||Unemployment (15 to 74 yrs, seasonally adjusted) (x 1,000)||WW unemployment benefits (15 yrs up to state pension age) (x 1,000)|
UWV: slightly more WW benefits in almost all sectors
At the end of August 2023, UWV issued 156.4 thousand WW benefits. This is 4.4 thousand more than in the previous month (+2.9 percent). Relative to one year previously, the number of current WW benefits rose by 4.7 thousand (+3.1 percent). In August 2023, 24.2 thousand new benefits were granted while 19.8 thousand benefits were terminated.
Almost all sectors saw an increase in the number of WW benefits in August relative to July, except agriculture, greenery and fisheries. The largest increase was seen in education (+25.7 percent). The number of WW benefits in this sector usually rises during the summer months. This is related to the expiration of employment contracts at the end of the school year.
Youth unemployment rises further
In 2023, total unemployment in the labour force aged 15 to 74 years did not change much from month to month. However, there were differences per age category. For example, youth unemployment rose from 7.5 percent in December last year to 8.7 percent in August. It mainly included young unemployed people who still were working relatively recently. Among 25 to 44-year-olds, the unemployment rate between December last year and August this year remained virtually the same. In the age group 45 to 74 years, the rate declined from 2.5 to 2.1 percent and has remained the same in recent months.
|Jaar||Maand||15-74 yrs (% of labour force)||15-24 yrs (% of labour force)||25-44 yrs (% of labour force)||45-74 yrs (% of labour force)|
Fewer unemployed from outside labour force
In August, the number of unemployed was up by 11 thousand on three months previously (adding on average 4 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 the diagram shows how these different flows have developed over the past few months.
Both graphics show two different flows that can lead to lower unemployment. The first flow is when unemployed people find a job; the second flow is when unemployed people stop seeking work and leave the labour market.
There are also two opposite flows, which can increase unemployment. These occur when employed people lose their jobs and when people who were not active on the labour market start seeking work. If they do not find work immediately, they become part of the unemployed labour force.
On the one hand, unemployment fell in August (relative to three months previously) because fewer employed people lost their job than unemployed found a job. Just as in July, the difference stood at -20 thousand. On the other hand, unemployment increased due to the inflow of unemployed from outside the labour force. This increase amounted to 32 thousand, on balance. This is less than in July, when this balance was still 41 thousand. This is because fewer unemployed from outside the labour force started seeking work in August.
From June through August, the flows in and out of unemployment resulted in 4 thousand more unemployed per month on average.
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.