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Unemployment in Netherlands below pre-crisis level for first time

Christian Fernsby |
In the period January through March 2019, the number of people aged 15 to 74 years in paid work grew by 16 thousand per month on average.

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There were over 8.9 million people in work in March. Unemployment declined by 7 thousand per month on average, ending at 307 thousand.

These are people who did not have paid work and who indicated they had recently looked and had been immediately available for work.

As a result, unemployment fell below the lowest point as recorded at the onset of the economic crisis in 2008.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of new figures. Nearly 4.1 million people did not have paid work for a variety of reasons.

Another group who were not in employment (nearly 3.8 million) had not looked recently and/or were not immediately available for work.

These people are not counted towards the labour force.

Their number decreased by 1 thousand per month on average over the first three months of the year.

At the end of March, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 268 thousand current unemployment (WW) benefits.

In order to enable comparison of cyclical movements in the labour market between countries, the unemployment indicator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is often taken as a measure.

According to this indicator, the ‘unemployed’ includes all 15 to 74-year-olds who do not have paid work but who have been looking for paid work recently and who are immediately available.

There were 307 thousand unemployed in March, equivalent to 3.3 percent of the labour force.

At the end of 2018, this percentage was below the lowest pre-crisis level on record for the first time.

It had dropped even further by March 2019.

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