Unemployment on the rise for first time in years

Waiting for a job interview
Waiting for a job interviewPhoto: opolja/DepositPhotos

The number of unemployed people in the Netherlands increased in the third quarter, compared to the previous quarter, for the first time in 5.5 years, according to Statistics Netherlands. In the third quarter there were 319 thousand unemployed people, 14 thousand more than in the second quarter. The unemployment rate rose from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent.

According to the stats office, the increased unemployment is the result of different flows on the labor market. More people lost their jobs, fewer people found jobs. And more people entered the labor market and couldn't find work immediately than people left the labor market. 

In the third quarter 141 thousand people entered the labor market, for example after leaving school or returning from time spent not working to raise a family, and couldn't find a job. A total of 110 thousand unemployed people left the labor market, for example by retiring. As a result, the number of unemployed people rose by 31 thousand through the so-called net inflow from the non-working population. The number of entrants to the labor market has been higher than the number of leavers since the fourth quarter of 2014.

More people found work than people who lost their jobs in the third quarter, but the difference between these two groups is getting smaller. 69 thousand workers lost their jobs in the third quarter, compared to around 60 thousand every quarter in 2018. And 86 thousand people found a job, compared to 95 thousand in the second quarter. This led to a decrease of 17 thousand unemployed people in the third quarter, compared to 25 thousand in the second quarter.

The higher unemployment rate led to the tension on the labor market decreasing somewhat. In the third quarter there were an average of 90 open vacancies per 100 unemployed, compared to 93 per 100 unemployed in the second quarter. 

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