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In August, 4.0 million people aged 15 to 74 years did not have paid work for a variety of reasons. In addition to the unemployed, 3.7 million people were not looking and/or immediately available for work recently. These people are not counted towards the labour force. Their number decreased by an average of 32 thousand per month over the past three months, because more people from the inactive labour force started working or started looking for work. This number was higher than the number of employed and unemployed who left the labour market.

 

Unemployment rate increased slightly in August

In order to enable comparison of cyclical movements in the labour market between countries, the unemployment indicator of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is taken as a measure. According to this indicator, the ‘unemployed’ includes all persons who do not have paid work but who have been looking recently and who are immediately available. This covers the population aged 15 to 74 years. Between March and August 2020, the unemployment rate rose from 2.9 to 4.6 percent. After that, it declined almost continuously to 3.1 percent in July 2021. In August, 301 thousand people were unemployed, slightly increasing the rate to 3.2 percent of the labour force.

Aside from the unemployed, there are also semi-unemployed who have either recently looked for work (but are not available) or are immediately available (but have not looked), as well as part-timers who want to work more hours. These groups fall outside the unemployment definition, but are counted towards the unused labour potential. After a temporary increase during the first period of the coronavirus crisis, in the second quarter of 2020, the total unused labour potential decreased significantly last year. In Q2 2021, it comprised 1.0 million people aged 15 to 74 years.

Unemployment* and unemployment benefits
2012 January 486 292
2012 February 482 299
2012 March 487 296
2012 April 502 292
2012 May 501 291
2012 June 502 291
2012 July 518 298
2012 August 517 304
2012 September 530 304
2012 October 539 310
2012 November 554 322
2012 December 572 340
2013 January 589 369
2013 February 601 377
2013 March 619 380
2013 April 625 380
2013 May 632 378
2013 June 648 382
2013 July 666 395
2013 August 670 399
2013 September 675 400
2013 October 680 408
2013 November 677 419
2013 December 687 438
2014 January 691 460
2014 February 699 460
2014 March 692 454
2014 April 684 443
2014 May 672 436
2014 June 656 431
2014 July 648 437
2014 August 637 430
2014 September 630 420
2014 October 632 419
2014 November 635 425
2014 December 643 441
2015 January 645 458
2015 February 633 455
2015 March 626 443
2015 April 625 427
2015 May 617 416
2015 June 611 410
2015 July 603 420
2015 August 604 420
2015 September 609 417
2015 October 616 421
2015 November 596 427
2015 December 588 446
2016 January 574 465
2016 February 581 469
2016 March 574 470
2016 April 572 461
2016 May 560 448
2016 June 550 438
2016 July 541 432
2016 August 521 427
2016 September 510 424
2016 October 502 420
2016 November 499 410
2016 December 482 412
2017 January 480 419
2017 February 473 416
2017 March 463 415
2017 April 456 401
2017 May 456 386
2017 June 446 372
2017 July 436 364
2017 August 426 362
2017 September 422 351
2017 October 404 343
2017 November 397 337
2017 December 395 330
2018 January 380 335
2018 February 367 330
2018 March 357 327
2018 April 355 314
2018 May 352 301
2018 June 354 288
2018 July 348 279
2018 August 353 278
2018 September 343 274
2018 October 337 269
2018 November 326 267
2018 December 329 263
2019 January 329 279
2019 February 312 274
2019 March 307 268
2019 April 300 257
2019 May 302 251
2019 June 313 243
2019 July 313 234
2019 August 321 237
2019 September 323 233
2019 October 323 233
2019 November 324 228
2019 December 302 223
2020 January 284 241
2020 February 274 240
2020 March 273 250
2020 April 314 292
2020 May 330 301
2020 June 404 301
2020 July 419 301
2020 August 426 292
2020 September 413 278
2020 October 406 278
2020 November 378 276
2020 December 368 286
2021 January 337 289
2021 February 340 286
2021 March 326 282
2021 April 316 266
2021 May 309 250
2021 June 297 238
2021 July 289 224
2021 August 301 213
* Figures for July and August are provisional.

UWV: number of WW benefits down for seven months in a row

At the end of August 2021, UWV provided 212.7 thousand WW benefits. This is 11.6 thousand fewer than at the end of June (-5.2 percent). The number of WW benefits has fallen for seven months in a row. It is customary for the number of benefits to decrease during the summer months. The relaxation of contact restrictions and the favourable economic situation probably also play a role. The number of WW benefits is now considerably lower than at the end of February 2020, before the start of the coronavirus crisis. At the end of February 2020, there were 240.2 thousand WW benefits.

UWV: number of WW benefits in accommodation and food services continues to decline, common WW increase in education less substantial

The sharpest decline in the number of WW benefits was seen in accommodation and food services (-15.3 percent). This was also the case in the previous month (-16.1 percent). The number of WW benefits only increased in education (5.2 percent). This is common in the summer, when temporary contracts expire at the end of the school year. However, the peak in the number of WW benefits during the summer in the education sector is diminishing.

Labour participation at record level

In August, the net labour participation rate reached a record high of 69.5 percent. Not all age groups show a higher rate than ever before. In August, 64.5 percent of young people (15 to 24 years) were in work. This is less than before the coronavirus crisis, which began in March 2020. Labour participation among 25 to 44-year-olds (86.6 percent), on the other hand, was higher than before the crisis, but lower than in August 2008, when 87.6 percent were in employment. The record can therefore be attributed to the increased labour participation rate among 45 to 74-year-olds. In August, it exceeded 60 percent for the first time. Labour participation in this group has been increasing for some time, mainly among 55 to 64-year-olds, but in recent years this has also been the case among the over-65s.

Net labour participation rate*
2003 January 64.7 63.5 82.9 48.3
2003 February 64.6 63.1 82.8 48.4
2003 March 64.5 63.1 82.5 48.3
2003 April 64.4 63.4 82.4 48.2
2003 May 64.4 63.2 82.5 48.2
2003 June 64.2 62.7 82.4 48.2
2003 July 64.3 62.2 82.5 48.3
2003 August 64.3 62.0 82.4 48.5
2003 September 64.1 61.4 82.3 48.4
2003 October 64.1 61.7 82.2 48.5
2003 November 64.0 61.5 82.2 48.4
2003 December 63.8 60.6 82.1 48.5
2004 January 63.9 60.7 82.1 48.6
2004 February 63.9 60.6 82.4 48.4
2004 March 63.8 60.2 82.4 48.4
2004 April 63.9 60.2 82.4 48.5
2004 May 63.9 60.4 82.4 48.6
2004 June 63.8 60.0 82.4 48.6
2004 July 64.0 59.8 82.7 48.8
2004 August 63.8 59.4 82.6 48.7
2004 September 63.8 58.9 82.7 48.8
2004 October 63.8 58.8 82.7 49.0
2004 November 63.8 59.1 82.5 49.1
2004 December 63.8 58.9 82.5 49.2
2005 January 63.8 58.9 82.4 49.3
2005 February 63.8 58.8 82.5 49.3
2005 March 63.9 59.1 82.6 49.4
2005 April 64.1 59.5 82.7 49.5
2005 May 64.1 59.2 82.9 49.6
2005 June 64.2 59.4 82.9 49.7
2005 July 64.0 59.1 82.8 49.7
2005 August 64.1 59.1 83.0 49.8
2005 September 64.3 59.5 83.1 50.0
2005 October 64.4 59.6 83.2 50.0
2005 November 64.4 59.8 83.3 49.9
2005 December 64.5 59.8 83.5 49.9
2006 January 64.6 59.8 83.8 49.9
2006 February 64.5 59.4 84.0 49.8
2006 March 64.6 59.9 84.0 49.9
2006 April 64.7 60.0 84.2 50.0
2006 May 64.6 59.8 84.0 49.9
2006 June 64.8 60.4 84.3 50.2
2006 July 64.9 60.6 84.3 50.1
2006 August 65.0 60.6 84.5 50.3
2006 September 65.2 60.7 84.6 50.6
2006 October 65.3 61.1 84.8 50.7
2006 November 65.5 61.3 85.0 50.9
2006 December 65.7 61.6 85.1 51.3
2007 January 65.9 61.7 85.2 51.5
2007 February 66.0 61.9 85.4 51.6
2007 March 66.3 62.3 85.6 52.0
2007 April 66.5 62.7 85.9 52.1
2007 May 66.4 62.7 85.8 52.0
2007 June 66.8 63.3 86.1 52.4
2007 July 66.7 62.9 86.1 52.4
2007 August 66.9 63.4 86.2 52.7
2007 September 67.0 63.9 86.1 52.8
2007 October 67.1 64.2 86.2 52.8
2007 November 67.1 63.9 86.3 52.8
2007 December 67.1 64.0 86.4 52.9
2008 January 67.4 64.2 86.6 53.2
2008 February 67.6 64.2 86.9 53.5
2008 March 67.7 64.3 87.1 53.5
2008 April 67.9 64.6 87.3 53.8
2008 May 67.9 64.4 87.3 53.8
2008 June 67.9 64.5 87.4 53.8
2008 July 68.0 64.5 87.4 53.9
2008 August 68.0 64.2 87.6 54.0
2008 September 67.9 64.1 87.5 54.1
2008 October 68.1 64.2 87.5 54.3
2008 November 68.1 64.1 87.5 54.5
2008 December 68.1 64.3 87.4 54.5
2009 January 68.2 64.3 87.5 54.8
2009 February 68.3 64.5 87.5 54.9
2009 March 68.2 64.2 87.4 54.9
2009 April 68.0 64.0 87.0 54.8
2009 May 67.9 63.7 86.9 54.8
2009 June 67.7 63.1 86.7 54.8
2009 July 67.5 62.5 86.5 54.8
2009 August 67.3 62.3 86.4 54.7
2009 September 67.2 62.2 86.3 54.6
2009 October 67.1 61.7 86.2 54.6
2009 November 66.9 61.3 86.0 54.6
2009 December 66.9 61.4 85.9 54.6
2010 January 66.8 61.0 85.8 54.6
2010 February 66.6 60.9 85.6 54.5
2010 March 66.5 60.7 85.5 54.4
2010 April 66.7 60.9 85.7 54.6
2010 May 66.8 60.8 85.8 54.8
2010 June 66.6 60.6 85.6 54.8
2010 July 66.7 60.7 85.6 54.9
2010 August 66.7 60.5 85.7 54.9
2010 September 66.7 60.6 85.7 54.8
2010 October 66.7 60.5 85.9 54.8
2010 November 66.8 60.6 85.9 54.9
2010 December 66.7 60.5 85.9 55.0
2011 January 66.5 60.2 85.8 54.7
2011 February 66.5 60.8 85.6 54.7
2011 March 66.3 60.6 85.4 54.6
2011 April 66.3 60.8 85.3 54.6
2011 May 66.2 60.9 84.9 54.6
2011 June 66.4 61.3 84.9 54.9
2011 July 66.2 60.8 84.6 55.0
2011 August 66.4 61.4 84.5 55.1
2011 September 66.6 61.9 84.8 55.3
2011 October 66.7 62.0 84.8 55.4
2011 November 66.7 62.1 84.8 55.5
2011 December 66.9 62.1 85.0 55.7
2012 January 66.7 61.7 84.8 55.7
2012 February 66.6 61.1 84.9 55.6
2012 March 66.5 61.1 84.6 55.6
2012 April 66.5 61.3 84.4 55.7
2012 May 66.5 61.1 84.5 55.7
2012 June 66.4 60.8 84.5 55.7
2012 July 66.3 60.7 84.2 55.6
2012 August 66.5 61.0 84.5 55.7
2012 September 66.4 61.0 84.7 55.5
2012 October 66.4 61.2 84.6 55.4
2012 November 66.2 61.1 84.2 55.3
2012 December 66.1 61.0 84.0 55.3
2013 January 65.8 60.8 83.5 55.3
2013 February 65.7 60.5 83.3 55.3
2013 March 65.7 60.5 83.3 55.3
2013 April 65.6 60.6 83.1 55.1
2013 May 65.5 60.5 83.0 55.0
2013 June 65.4 60.4 82.9 55.1
2013 July 65.2 59.7 82.7 55.1
2013 August 65.2 59.7 82.7 55.2
2013 September 65.3 59.6 82.7 55.3
2013 October 65.4 59.9 82.6 55.4
2013 November 65.3 59.7 82.8 55.2
2013 December 64.9 59.3 82.4 54.8
2014 January 64.8 58.9 82.2 54.9
2014 February 64.7 58.5 82.2 54.9
2014 March 64.4 58.1 82.0 54.7
2014 April 64.5 58.2 82.2 54.7
2014 May 64.7 58.4 82.5 54.8
2014 June 64.7 58.3 82.5 54.8
2014 July 64.8 58.6 82.5 55.0
2014 August 64.9 58.5 82.7 55.2
2014 September 65.0 58.9 82.7 55.2
2014 October 65.2 59.2 83.2 55.3
2014 November 65.3 59.6 83.2 55.3
2014 December 65.2 59.7 83.0 55.3
2015 January 65.4 60.4 83.2 55.3
2015 February 65.3 60.7 83.0 55.3
2015 March 65.3 61.1 82.8 55.2
2015 April 65.4 61.4 82.7 55.3
2015 May 65.4 61.3 82.9 55.4
2015 June 65.4 61.3 82.9 55.4
2015 July 65.4 60.9 83.0 55.5
2015 August 65.5 60.8 83.0 55.6
2015 September 65.4 60.6 83.1 55.5
2015 October 65.4 60.6 83.2 55.5
2015 November 65.3 60.4 83.2 55.4
2015 December 65.4 60.2 83.3 55.6
2016 January 65.4 60.1 83.3 55.7
2016 February 65.4 60.4 83.3 55.6
2016 March 65.5 60.4 83.2 55.8
2016 April 65.7 60.8 83.6 55.8
2016 May 65.7 61.0 83.6 55.7
2016 June 65.7 60.9 83.5 56.0
2016 July 65.9 61.0 83.6 56.1
2016 August 66.0 61.1 83.6 56.3
2016 September 66.0 61.0 83.5 56.5
2016 October 66.1 61.0 83.7 56.5
2016 November 66.1 61.0 83.7 56.5
2016 December 66.2 61.0 83.9 56.6
2017 January 66.3 61.3 83.8 56.8
2017 February 66.2 61.2 83.9 56.6
2017 March 66.4 61.3 84.2 56.8
2017 April 66.4 61.4 84.2 56.8
2017 May 66.5 61.8 84.1 56.8
2017 June 66.6 62.1 84.1 56.9
2017 July 66.7 62.5 84.1 57.1
2017 August 66.8 62.6 84.1 57.3
2017 September 66.9 63.1 84.0 57.4
2017 October 67.0 63.2 84.0 57.4
2017 November 67.1 63.5 84.0 57.5
2017 December 67.0 63.4 84.1 57.4
2018 January 67.2 63.8 84.3 57.5
2018 February 67.2 63.6 84.5 57.6
2018 March 67.4 63.6 84.5 57.8
2018 April 67.5 63.7 84.5 57.9
2018 May 67.6 63.9 84.9 58.0
2018 June 67.7 63.8 85.3 58.0
2018 July 67.8 63.6 85.5 58.0
2018 August 68.0 63.7 85.7 58.3
2018 September 68.2 63.9 85.8 58.4
2018 October 68.2 64.3 85.7 58.5
2018 November 68.4 64.5 85.9 58.7
2018 December 68.4 64.8 85.8 58.6
2019 January 68.6 65.1 85.9 58.8
2019 February 68.6 65.2 85.9 58.9
2019 March 68.7 65.1 85.9 58.9
2019 April 68.7 65.5 85.7 58.9
2019 May 68.7 65.6 85.8 59.0
2019 June 68.8 65.4 85.7 59.2
2019 July 68.8 65.1 85.7 59.2
2019 August 68.8 65.0 85.6 59.3
2019 September 68.8 64.9 85.7 59.4
2019 October 69.0 65.2 85.7 59.6
2019 November 68.9 65.5 85.5 59.5
2019 December 69.1 66.0 85.7 59.6
2020 January 69.3 66.1 86.0 59.8
2020 February 69.3 66.0 85.9 59.8
2020 March 69.1 65.6 85.9 59.6
2020 April 67.9 60.7 85.5 58.9
2020 May 67.7 59.4 85.3 59.1
2020 June 68.0 60.9 85.1 59.4
2020 July 68.0 60.8 85.0 59.5
2020 August 68.0 60.8 85.1 59.4
2020 September 68.0 61.2 85.2 59.1
2020 October 68.2 62.9 85.4 59.0
2020 November 68.4 62.7 85.6 59.3
2020 December 68.5 62.3 85.7 59.4
2021 January 68.6 62.2 86.1 59.6
2021 February 68.8 62.2 86.3 59.7
2021 March 68.6 62.1 86.3 59.5
2021 April 68.7 62.4 86.3 59.4
2021 May 68.7 62.3 86.3 59.5
2021 June 69.1 63.9 86.5 59.7
2021 July 69.4 64.3 86.7 59.9
2021 August 69.5 64.5 86.6 60.1
* Figures for July and August are provisional.

Unemployment further down over the past three months

The further decline in the number of unemployed over the past three months is the result of underlying flows between the active, unemployed and inactive labour force. This is visualised in the diagram below.

 

Every month, CBS publishes figures on the labour force in accordance with international guidelines. The corresponding indicators, i.e. the employed and unemployed labour force, are used around the world to describe cyclical developments on the labour market. Monthly figures are essential in this respect. In addition, UWV issues its own monthly figures on unemployment benefits. Figures released by UWV do not correspond one-to-one with the labour force indicators.

Source of original article: Statistics Netherlands (CBS) (www.cbs.nl).
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