Sharp drop in unemployment among young workers

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There was a sharp drop in unemployment among 25- to 30-year-olds over the past two years, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. In this age group unemployment fell from 7.3 percent in the second quarter of 2014 to 5 percent in the last quarter of 2015. Though the unemployment rate is still highest among 25- to 45-year-olds.

"The 25- to 30-year-olds of today start on the labor market at a time of economic downturn that began late in 2008", Statistics Netherlands writes. Since the financial crisis, the unemployment rate in this age group increased significantly from 2.6 percent in 2008 to a peak of 7.7 percent in 2013, after which it slowly started to decline again.

"The labor market position of 25- to 30-year-olds compared to the older age groups now seems to be back to what it was before the crisis", according to the Statistics Office. Though there is a notable difference in the area of freelance or flexible employment. Between 2008 and 2012 the proportion of this age group working as freelancers increased from just below 22 percent to over 24 percent. In the larger age group of 25- to 45-year-olds, the proportion of flexible workers remained stable.

After that the difference increased even further. The share of flexible contracts among 25- to 30-year-olds increased to 31 percent in the second quarter of this year.