Unemployment falls further in July

The number of unemployed has fallen for the third month in a row, the national data office Statistic Netherlands (CBS) announced today.

Unemployment decreased in July by 12,000 people and totaled 8.2 percent of the workforce.  In the last three months the number of unemployed decreased by an average of 14 thousand a month. This is largely due to more people finding employment. In the same period the working population grew on an average of 12,000 people per month. The number of workers has been rising monthly since the second quarter.

Currently there are about 50,000 fewer unemployed persons than last year, when the unemployment rate reached an all time high. The working population has also decreased by more than 50,000 people compared to last year, despite the recent increase in employment. This means that the total workforce (employed and unemployed) has shrunk by more than 100,000 people since July 2013.

The number of unemployment benefits increased by 6,000 in July, adding up to a total of 437,000, increasing the most in education. Regionally the increase was highest in the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe. Compared to July 2013 unemployment benefits increased by 11 percent, CBS reports.

By international standards the unemployment rate in the Netherlands is relatively low. By the definition of the International Labor Organisation (ILO), unemployment in the Netherlands amounts to 6.7 percent of the workforce, 6.8 percent in June. In June the unemployment rate was 11.5 percent in the Eurozone and 10.2 percent in the European Union as a whole. Unemployment was the lowest in Austria, Germany and Malta by approximately 5 percent.