In October, 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. These people are not part of the labour force. They are mainly retirees and people unable to work due to sickness or work incapacity Over the past three months, the number of people outside the labour force increased by an average of 3 thousand per month.
|Unemployment (15 to 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 rose slightly in October
In October 2023, the number of WW benefits slightly increased. At the end of that month, UWV issued 155.8 thousand WW benefits. This is a 0.4-percent increase relative to the end of September (155.1 thousand). In October, 17.6 thousand benefits were terminated, while 18.3 thousand new benefits were granted.
Compared to September, WW benefits increased particularly in the accommodation and food services sector (+5.0 percent) and agriculture, landscaping and fisheries (+4.9 percent). Declines were also seen: in education (-4.1 percent), banking and insurance (-2.7 percent) and culture (-1.5 percent).
Unemployment rate almost at the same level as last year
At 361 thousand, the number of unemployed, was similar to that in the same month one year previously (365 thousand). At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, the unemployment rate was still falling and then rose slightly again. Conversely, the number of people in employment continued to increase, rising by 154 thousand between October 2022 and October 2023. As a result, net labour participation increased from 72.1 to 73.1 percent.
|Employed (x 1,000)||Unemployed (x 1,000)|
Flows into and out of unemployment roughly balanced
In October, there were a thousand fewer unemployed people than three months previously, leaving the unemployment rate virtually unchanged on average per month. Unemployment trends are the result of underlying flows between the employed, unemployed and those not in the labour force. This is visualised in the diagram below. The chart below the diagram shows the development of these different flows over the past few months.
Unemployment may increase or decrease due to four different flows. Two of these 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.
Over the past three months, the four flows were fairly evenly balanced, keeping the monthly unemployment rate virtually constant 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 about benefits released by UWV do not correspond one-to-one with the labour force indicators. For more details on the different sources, see our technical explanation<link naar toelichting> (Dutch only).