Slight decrease in unemployment in February
Unemployment in the Netherlands decreased from 3.6 percent in January to 3.5 percent in February, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Thursday. And with that, the Dutch labor market became a tiny bit tighter.
The Dutch labor market is currently very tight, with low unemployment and a high number of vacancies. Unemployment hit its lowest point at 3.2 percent in April 2022. At 3.5 percent in February, the unemployment rate is at its lowest point in six months.
In February, 356,000 people were unemployed. Over the past three months, the number of unemployed people fell by an average of 3,000 per month. At the same time, the number of working people aged 15 to 75 increased by an average of 17,000 per month.
There were also 3.3 million people in the Netherlands who did not have paid work in February but do not count towards the unemployment rate. The stats office doesn’t consider them unemployed because they are not actively looking for work and cannot start immediately. “These are mainly people who are retired or unable to work due to illness or disability.” This group decreased by an average of 9,000 per month from December to February.
At the end of February, the benefits agency UWV paid out 154,000 current unemployment benefits - about the same as in January. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployment benefits decreased by almost 34,000 (-18 percent). These benefits decreased in all sectors compared to February 2022. The decrease was strongest in the hospitality industry at 46 percent.