Unemployment falls below half-million for first time since 2012

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Unemployment in the Netherlands continued its slight decline in November and for the first time since 2012 the number of unemployed in the country dropped below 500 thousand, Statistics Netherlands said on Thursday.

Last month there were 499 thousand unemployed people in the Netherlands, compared to 502 thousand in October. The unemployment rate remained stable at 5.6 percent of the workforce. Between September and November, the number of unemployed fell by an average of 7 thousand per month.

The number of employed people continued to increase over the past months, though at a slower tempo. At the end of November benefits agency UWV paid 410 thousand running unemployment benefits. Some 10 thousand fewer than in October. 

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is pleased with the continued unemployment decline and happy that it broke through the half a million milestone, he said to NU.nl in response to the figures. "This offers ope to all those people who are still at home and also so eager to get to work."