Slight increase in unemployment last month
Last month, 360,000 people in the Netherlands were unemployed. The unemployment rate climbed slightly, from 3.5 percent in December to 3.6 percent in January, and therefore did not continue the minor decrease at the end of last year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Thursday.
To track developments in unemployment, the statistics office looks at an average change over the past three months. From November to January, the number of unemployed fell by an average of 2,000 people per month. The number of working people aged 15 to 75 rose by an average of 31,000 per month in the same period.
Benefits agency UWV paid out 154,000 active unemployment benefits at the end of January. That was 5,000 more than the month before, an increase of 3.5 percent. “An increase at the beginning of the year is common. In the winter months, there is often less work in construction and agriculture, and many contracts expire at the end of the calendar year,” CBS said.
The unemployment rate is still very low. Compared to January 2022, unemployment benefits were 20 percent lower.
The non-working population - people who didn’t have paid work but weren’t looking for a job or couldn’t start immediately - decreased by an average of 21,000 per month in the past three months. “The non-working population has shrunk considerably for the second year in a row,” CBS said. In January, this group consisted of 3.5 million people.
The labor force - working people plus unemployed people aged 15 to 75 - comprised over 10 million people at the end of last year. Two years ago, it was still 9.6 million people.