Young people, Over-45s increasingly need welfare

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The number of active welfare benefits in the Netherlands keeps growing. Last year 450 thousand people received welfare benefits, 16 thousand more than in 2014. The increase can almost completely be attributed to over-45-year-olds and under-27-year-olds, according to Statistics Netherlands.

By far the largest group of new welfare recipients consisted of people over the age of 45 last year. A massive 11 thousand people in this age group started receiving welfare benefits. According to Statistics Netherlands, people in this age group face many difficulties on the labor market and often have trouble to get off of welfare and back to work. According to the newest employment figures, the unemployment rate in this age group is starting to decline, but the number of welfare benefits is not.

The second largest group of newcomers to welfare last year were young people up until the age of 27, increasing with 4 thousand. According to Statistics Netherlands, the increase can partially be attributed to young people who are partially unfit to work - an estimated 2 to 3 thousand. Until last year, they could rely on the Work and Employment Support for Disabled Young Persons. But with the introduction of the Participation Act last year, only a limited number of young people who are permanently and completely disabled are still eligible for benefits.

The number of new welfare recipients in the age group 27 to 45 years old, increased only slightly with about 2 thousand.

Almost half of all welfare recipients receive benefits for three years or longer. One in six are on welfare for at least nine years.

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