Thousands more on welfare this year

Despite signals that the economy is picking up again, the number of people receiving income assistance grew with 13 thousand in the first quarter of 2014 to 426 thousand people, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announces today.

People on welfare are more distant from the job market, and thus find it more difficult to find work than, for example, people receiving benefits from the Unemployment Law.

Welfare candidates from those with rights to welfare to those with rights to old-age pension has risen with more than 120,000 since 2009. This figure rose more quickly from 2013 due to a crash in the labour market. Many jobs were lost, and the number of people on unemployment benefits increased, with a number of those people going on to claim welfare.

Despite a rise in the economy, with entrepreneurs looking more positively to their investment plans and the future of their personnel, and slightly more job opportunities springing up, the CBS is still noting a rise in welfare claims.

Welfare claims come from people who have been out of work for some time. They have less chance on average to find a job quickly. At the end of March 2014, 436,000 people in the Netherlands were on welfare. This figure has not been seen since the late 90s, the CBS reports.

The number of young people on welfare has risen especially quickly, with almost seven percent. In the first quarter of 2014, this figure has risen above the average level from June 2013. These young people, under the age of 27, often don't have a chance to build up their rights to benefits under the Unemployment Law because they work part-time, and don't have long-term employment opportunities.