Dutch unemployment approaching half a million

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Unemployment in the Netherlands, currently at 420,000, is expected to reach half a million by mid-2012.

ING Bank writes in its regional quarterly report that the Netherlands last saw this level of unemployment in 1984 and 1995.

Nearly half of the unemployed live in the western conurbation. At 117,000, the province of South Holland is expected to have the largest number of unemployed, but ING expects that next year unemployment will rise in all provinces.

The number of unemployed grew steadily in the second half of 2011, mainly as the result of a shrinking economy. However, there are big regional differences. Unemployment in the northern province of Groningen is expected to top nine percent in 2012.

Drenthe and South Holland will also be facing above-average unemployment figures. Zeeland is the positive exception to the rule, with an expected unemployment of four percent, far below the national 6.3-percent average 5.4 percent in 2011.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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