Long term unemployment falls nearly 20 percent

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The number of people facing long-term unemployment in the Netherlands is decreasing. In the first quarter of this year 232 thousand people were unemployed for at least 12 months, a decrease of 57 thousand compared to the same period in 2015, Statistics Netherlands announced on Thursday.

The decline is particularly apparent in the age group 25- to 45-year-olds. Young people up to the age of 25 are often only unemployed for a short time. Of the 155 thousand young people who were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2015, 28 percent were working again in the first quarter of 2016.

Long-term unemployment is most prevalent in the age group 45- to 75-years-old. In the first quarter of this year, 59 percent of unemployed people in this group were unemployed for more than 12 months. That percentage decreased slightly compared to last year.

Women are more likely to face long-term unemployment than men. 41 percent of unemployed women have been looking for work for more than 12 months, compared to 36 percent of men.

There are currently a total of 604 thousand unemployed people in the Netherlands, including both long-term and short-term unemployment. That is about 60 thousand less than in the same quarter last year. The decrease can almost entirely be attributed to long-term unemployed. The number of short term unemployed remained relatively stable. Unemployment has been on a downward trend since the second quarter of 2014.