Unemployment benefits down by a third as labor market shortages grow
The current tightness in the labor market continues to be reflected in the unemployment figures. According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 3.2 percent of the working population were unemployed in April. A month earlier, it was 3.3 percent, the lowest percentage since early 2003. Compared to April last year, unemployment benefits decreased by 36 percent.
As in previous months, the decline in youth unemployment continued. About 6.9 percent of young people between 15 and 25 were unemployed, compared to 7.1 percent a month earlier. The unemployment rate in the age group 25 to 45 fell by 0.2 percent to 2.5 percent. There was a minimal decrease among older employees aged 45 and up. Here the unemployment rate was 2.3 percent.
The number of unemployment benefits fell by 9,200 in April to 174,000. That is a 5 percent decrease compared to March. Compared to April last year, the number of active unemployment benefits fell by over a third.
Rob Witjes, head of Labor Market Information and benefits agency UWV, spoke of a continuing trend that started in January last year, except for a single month. "What is striking about this month is that the number of unemployment benefits is decreasing in all sectors," said Witjes. In the catering industry, unemployment benefits fell by 13.5 percent. In the culture and temporary employment sector this was about 7 percent.
According to Witjes, the decrease is partly due to the seasonal effect. "The terraces and theaters attract many people, and more work can be found this month via temporary employment agencies. In addition, the current tight labor market with many vacancies against low unemployment provides good opportunities for job seekers to find work."
Reporting by ANP