Netherlands unemployment continues to fall

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Unemployment in the Netherlands dropped by an average of 6 thousand people per month during the first three months of this year, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. In March a total of 463 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed, 5.1 percent of the working population. In March last year, there were 574 thousand unemployed.

The number of people with paid work increased by an average of 14 thousand per month over the past three months. At the end of March benefits agency UWV was paying 415 thousand unemployment benefits, a decrease of 0.3 percent.

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is pleased with the figures, he said to ANP. "It's great to see more and more people getting to work, especially women", Asscher said. "There's been more than 8.5 million Dutch with a job for a few months now. Unemployment is at its lowest level in five years. And of course I want more people to get working. I'll keep working for that."