Unemployment in Netherlands continues to fall

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Unemployment in the Netherlands continues to fall and the number of vacancies is on the rise. In the first quarter of this year there were 2.7 unemployed persons per open vacancy, compared to 3.9 in the same quarter last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Friday. 

The number of unemployed per vacancy decreased in all Dutch provinces. The decrease is due to a combination of increasing vacancies and decreasing unemployment. By the end of the first quarter, there were 189 thousand vacancies in the Netherlands, 23 percent more than a year earlier. And in the first quarter 5.6 percent of the working population was unemployed, compared to 6.8 percent a year ago. Unemployment has been falling in the Netherlands since early 2014.

Zeeland saw the strongest increase in the number of vacancies, with a 40 percent increase. Flevoland and Groningen followed in second and third place. The increase in Zeeland can mainly be seen in the construction, health and welfare sectors. In Flevoland public administration and construction were the driving forces. And in Groningen education and construction added the most jobs. Zuid-Holland saw the smallest increase in vacancies.

Unemployment also fell in all provinces in the first quarter. Friesland saw the biggest decline, with minus 1.9 percentage points. Flevoland and Limburg also saw an above average drop in unemployment. Overijssel saw the smallest decrease. Unemployment in that province was only 0.8 percent lower than a year earlier. 

Groningen had the highest unemployment rate in the country in the first quarter. 7.2 percent of Groningen's working population were unemployed. Zeeland has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent. 

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