Netherlands employment at highest level ever

In December a total of 9 million residents of the Netherlands had a paying job - the highest number of employed persons in the country to date, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. After a minor increase in the second and third quarter of 2019, unemployment decreased again in the fourth quarter, and the number of active unemployment benefits with it.

In the last quarter of 2019, the number of employed persons increased by an average of 17 thousand a  month. The number of unemployed persons decreased by an average of 7 thousand persons per month to 302 thousand in December. That is 3.2 percent of the working population. Unemployment is therefore back at the level of April and May 2019. 

Another 3.7 million people did not have paid work, but are not considered unemployed because they are not actively looking for work or not available to start working immediately. They are therefore not included in the labor force. Their number fell by an average of 1 thousand  a month in the last three months of 2019. 

At the end of December 2019, benefits agency UWV paid 223 active unemployment benefits. That is 1.9 percent less than in November and 15 percent less than at the end of 2018. The number of unemployment benefits fell in all professional groups, but most in agriculture with -21 percent, care and welfare with -19.1 percent, and in pedagogical professions at -18.2 percent.