Steady decline in Netherlands unemployment continues

Unemployment in the Netherlands continues to steadily decline. In November 4.4 percent of the labor force was unemployed, compared to 4.5 percent in October. That amounts to 397 thousand unemployed people, dropping below the 400 thousand mark for the first time since August 2009, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday.

Last month nearly 8.7 million people in the Netherlands had paid work, the highest number ever, according to the stats office. Over the past three months, the number 15- to 75-year-olds in the country with paid work increased by an average of 15 thousand per month. 

November also counted nearly 3.9 million people with no paid work. 397 thousand of them are considered unemployed, because they recently looked for work and are immediately available to start working. 

Benefits agency UWV counted a total of 337 thousand active unemployment benefits at the end of November, a decrease of 6 thousand compared to the previous month. The number of active unemployment benefits decreased in almost all sectors. Only in the agriculture and fishery sector, and the hospitality and cultural institutions sector did the benefits increase. This is probably because there is less work in these sectors during winter, according to Statistics Netherlands.

Between January and November of this year, the UWV issued 362 thousand new unemployment benefits, a decrease of 18 percent compared to the same period in 2016. The number of new unemployment benefits decreased in all sectors compared to last year.