Unemployment in the Netherlands continues steady decline

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The unemployment rate in the Netherlands dropped to 6.1 percent of the workforce in June, Statistics Netherlands announced on Thursday. The number of unemployed people in the country decreased from 558 thousand in December 2015 to 550 thousand in June 2016.

During the first half of this year, benefits agency UWV issued 262 thousand new unemployment benefits - a decrease of 9 percent compared to the same period last year. All sectors except retail saw a decrease in unemployment benefits during the first half of 2016. The construction and healthcare/welfare sectors saw the biggest declines with a drop of 21 percent and 20 percent respectively.

For the third month in a row, the UWV saw a decrease in the number of active unemployment benefits. In June there were 438 active unemployment benefits, 9 thousand or 2 percent less than in May.

The Netherlands counts 12.8 million residents between the ages of 15 and 75 years. 65.7 percent of these people had paid work in June. That is nearly 8.4 million people - about 4.5 million men and about 3.9 million women. Between January and June, the number of people with paid work increased by more than 80 percent.

Some 4.4 million people in the Netherlands between the ages of 15 and 75 years do not have pad work. Of these, 3.8 million are not looking for work. The other 550 thousand are unemployed.