Unemployment decreased slightly in December
A total of 368 thousand Netherlands residents were unemployed in December. That amounts to 3.9 percent of the workforce, a slight decrease compared to November, when 4.0 percent of the workforce was unemployed, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday.
To be considered unemployed you must have no paid work, be actively looking for a job, and be available to start working immediately. Over the past three months, the number of unemployed people in the Netherlands decreased by an average of 15 thousand per month, and the number of people who had paid work increased by 24 thousand per month on average.
Largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of unemployed people in the Netherlands increased by over 150 thousand between March and August. After that, that number decreased again by almost 60 thousand. So while unemployment is decreasing, there is still a way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels.
At the end of December 2020, benefits agency UWV paid out 286 thousand unemployment benefits, over 9 thousand more than the month before, an increase of 3 percent. The increase is largely due to the seasonally sensitive sectors of construction and agriculture. The number of unemployment benefits also increased significantly at temporary employment agencies and the hospitality industry - two sectors hit hard by the measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.