Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 12:54
Unemployment remains Cabinet's biggest concern
Despite a slight decline in unemployment figures, unemployment remains the biggest concern for the Cabinet, according to Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs. Figures from Statistics Netherlands show that unemployment remained virtually the same in October, after there was a decline for 5 months in a row. In total 627 thousand Dutch people were unemployed last month. That is about 1 thousand less than in September, but still amounts to 8 percent of the labor force, just like in September. In September the unemployment rate also decreased less strongly than in previous months. According to Statistics Netherlands, that is because more people are actively seeking work, but not everyone is immediately successful. According to figures from the UWV, the number of current unemployment benefits also decreased very slightly to 419 thousand. That is about 500 less than in September. By the definition of the International Labor Organization (ILO), unemployment in the Netherlands stood at 6.5 percent last month, the same as in September. This means that unemployment in the Netherlands is relatively low on international standards. Minister Lodewijk Asscher calls it good news that unemployment fell slightly in October. But for the Cabinet "unemployment remains our biggest concern. There are still too many people who can not find work. We are therefore taking a number of measures to ensure that young and old are more likely to find work." Asscher said today in response to the Statistics Netherlands figures. The minister points to the job plans that the Cabinet is working on with unions and employers. The Cabinet has made 600 million euros available for that. Asscher also mentioned an action plan to get over fifties working and a premium discount to employers who employ young people with a benefit.