Unemployment slightly up, but less than previous months | NOW


Unemployment rose less sharply in August than in the previous months, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reports Thursday. Last month, 426,000 people were unemployed in the Netherlands. That amounts to 4.6 percent of the working population. The UWV registered a total of 292,000 current unemployment benefits at the end of August.

In July, 4.5 percent of the labor force was unemployed. According to Statistics Netherlands, an average of 32,000 unemployed people were added per month in the past three months. The number of employed people increased by an average of 18,000 per month in the same period.

The fact that the number of employed and unemployed people can rise at the same time is because the labor force also grew. The working population consists of all employed and unemployed people together. People who are not in employment and who are not looking for it are not counted. The number of people who are looking for work and who can start immediately has grown significantly in recent months.

In April, a relatively large number of people had dropped out of the labor market due to the corona crisis and the accompanying measures. The measures taken made it difficult for them to apply, so they were not immediately looking for a job. This had a dampening effect on unemployment.

Now the size of the labor market is about the same size as before the corona crisis. “The group of working people and the unemployed added together is the same size. We do see that there are about 100,000 extra unemployed compared to just before the corona crisis,” says chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen of Statistics Netherlands.

Before the corona crisis, less than 3 percent of the labor force was unemployed. Unemployment is expected to rise to 5.9 percent of the labor force in the coming year.


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