Unemployment declines strongly in first half of year

20th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 July 2006, AMSTERDAM – Unemployment in the Netherlands at the end of the second quarter was at its lowest since the summer of 2003, Dutch statistical bureau CBS said on Thursday. The number of unemployed people declined by some 60,000 in the first six months of the year to a total of 407,000.

20 July 2006

AMSTERDAM – Unemployment in the Netherlands at the end of the second quarter was at its lowest since the summer of 2003, Dutch statistical bureau CBS said on Thursday. The number of unemployed people declined by some 60,000 in the first six months of the year to a total of 407,000.

Unemployment has been in a downward trend for about a year, the CBS reported. An average of 5.5% of the working population was looking for paid work in May, June and July, as compared to some 6.7% in the same period last year (numbers adjusted for seasonal variation).

Dutch Work-and-Income Agency (CWI) said on Thursday that the economy had shown signs of strong recovery in the first half of the year. The number of men unemployed declined by nearly 36,000, and women by 22,000, the organization said. The decline was greatest among people between the ages of 23 and 39, at some 38,000, and nearly double the average. The lowest rate of decline was seen among people aged between 50 and 65.

The decline in unemployment was greatest among people at the lowest education levels. Unemployment among people with a primary school education declined by 21,372 (9.9%) and among those with a secondary school education by 13,065 (8.5%) up to the end of June. The number of people in these categories was 334,352 or 55% of the total in the same periods.

The CWI had handed out more than 22,000 dismissal permits in the first half of the year, the organisation reported—some 27% fewer than in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, labour market confidence in the Dutch population remained level in the second quarter of the year, Intelligence Group and SEO Economisch Onderzoek also announced on Thursday. Last year’s recovery in labour market confidence had not continued, the organizations said. Groups that traditionally have problems on the labour market (older people, women, people with low levels of education and people who live outside of the big four cities) had relatively little confidence in the labour market.

The average length of time it took to find a new job on the Dutch labour market was 6.3 months, even though the number of vacancies increased sharply in the first half of the year. People aged 45 and older had little confidence in the labour market. It took people in this category an average of 9.1 months to find a new job, double the time for people aged up to 29 (4.5 months). Women had to wait a month longer on average than men before they found a new job.

Labour market confidence among people working in the business services sector improved, with an average wait of 4.7 months for another job. Confidence among people in the collective sector also improved, but their wait for a new job was still some way behind the national average at 5.7 months.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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