Netherlands unemployment continues to rise

Unemployment in the Netherlands is still rising, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. In July a total of 419 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed – they had no paid work, were actively looking for work, and available to start immediately. That is 4.5 percent of the Dutch workforce.

Over the past three months, the Dutch workforce grew by an average of 44 thousand people per month, following a sharp decline in April after the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. The majority of this increase was unemployed people, increasing by an average of 35 thousand per month. The number of working people increased by an average of 8 thousand per month over the past three months.

The increase in unemployed people over the past three months was the result of underlying flows in the labor market, the stats office said. More people started looking for work moving from the non-working population to unemployed, than stopped looking for a job and thereby moving from unemployed to non-working. This resulted in an increase of 67 thousand unemployed people. There were also more people who lost their jobs, moving from employed to unemployed, than unemployed people who found a job. Increasing the number of unemployed people by 39 thousand.

Between March and June, during the height of the coronavirus crisis, unemployment grew mainly due to more people losing their jobs, Statistics Netherlands said.

In July, benefits agency UWV paid 301 thousand active unemployment benefits, about the same number as in June. After a sharp increase between March and May, July was the second consecutive month in which active unemployment benefits did not increase. Though the agency still paid 61 thousand more unemployment benefits in July than in February.