Unemployment rises for fifth-straight month

In August, 426 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed, a slight increase compared to July and the fifth consecutive month that unemployment in the Netherlands increased, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. The increase does seem to be slowing down.

To be considered unemployed in the Netherlands you must have no paid work, be actively looking for a job, and be available to start working immediately. In August 4.6 percent of the Dutch workforce met that criteria, compared to 4.5 percent in July. Between May and June, the unemployment rate increased from 3.6 percent to 4.3 percent – so the increase seems to be slowing down.

At the end of August, benefits agency UWV paid out 292 thousand unemployment benefits – 9,100 less than at the end of July. The decrease was mainly visible among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 at -14.9 percent. Despite this decrease, the number of active unemployment benefits is still significantly higher than at the start of this year, the stats office said.

The number of new unemployment benefits is also decreasing. In August, an average of 7,100 new unemployment benefits were approved per week, compared to 8,700 per week on average in July. “Due to the corona crisis, the inflow was structurally higher between March and July of this year than in 2019. In August, the number of new unemployment benefits was almost the same as in August 2019,” Statistics Netherlands said.