Dutch unemployment at 4.1 percent: official data
Unemployment rate rises year-on-year for the first time since 2005 with 5,000 more people without jobs in the first quarter of this year.THE HAGUE – Unemployment in the Netherlands reached 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, rising year-on-year for the first time since 2005, the CBS statistics agency said Thursday.
A total of 317,000 were registered unemployed in the period for January to March, up from 308,000 people or four percent for the previous three months.
"For the first time in more than three years, the unemployment rate is higher than that of a year earlier. In the period January to March 2009, there were 5,000 more people without jobs than in January to March 2008," said a CBS statement.
The growth was entirely due to men up to the age of 45 losing their jobs. The number of unemployed among this category grew by 31,000 from a year ago, while dropping for other groups.
Before the effects of the global economic crisis started hitting home, the Netherlands reported in September 2008 that unemployment had dipped to its lowest level in six years to under 300,000.
On Thursday, CBS chief economist Michiel Vergeer told AFP that the reverse was due to a decrease in production levels in manufacturing, transport and trade.
"In January, Dutch exports were down 14 percent in volume due to the global crisis," he said.
In the last six months, the jobless figure, adjusted for seasonal factors, grew by 27,000 to 317,000 in the country of 16.4 million people, CBS added.
The Netherlands has seen four consecutive months of unemployment growth.
AFP / Expatica