Unemployment increased slightly in December
Unemployment in the Netherlands stood at 3.8 percent in December. Therefore, the unemployment rate increased slightly from 3.7 percent in November 2021, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported based on new figures on the labor force.
Due to a new EU regulation, CBS changed how it measures the labor force. This method shows more unemployed and more workers. Based on the new measurement method, unemployment and labor participation are higher than the old method.
Under the old method, unemployment would have been 2.8 percent in December and 2.7 percent in November. Unemployment fell sharply during 2021, both under the old and new methods.
The number of unemployed people stood at 369,000 in December 2021. In the past three months, the number of unemployed fell by an average of 10,000 per month. The number of people aged 15 to 75 with paid work increased by an average of 25,000 per month to 9.4 million in the same period.
In December, 3.8 million people aged 15 to 75 did not have paid work for various reasons. In addition to the unemployed, this included 3.4 million people who were not actively looking for work and were not available to start immediately. They are not counted as part of the working population. Their number has fallen by an average of 3,000 per month in the last three months.
The number of unemployment benefits increased slightly for the first time since February 2021. At the end of December, there were almost 192,000 active unemployment benefits, increasing 2,500 compared to the end of November.
Labor market expert Rob Witjes of the UWV said in an explanation that the increase is expected. "There is always an increase in the number of unemployment benefits at the end of the year. This is due to seasonal effects from construction and agriculture. In December, there were also the minor effects of the coronavirus measures and the increase in the number of young people under the age of 25 who ended up on unemployment benefits."
Despite this slight increase, the number of unemployment benefits is still low, according to Witjes. Compared to the end of 2020, unemployment benefits are 33 percent lower. The influx into unemployment in 2021 is the lowest in 13 years. "The labor market is still tight," said Witjes.
Reporting by ANP