The number of unemployed has not fallen as much in a long time as in the past three months. Between October and January, the number of unemployed fell by an average of 23,000 per month, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). This is the strongest decrease since the monthly measurements began in 2003.
Last month, 337,000 people were unemployed, 3.6 percent of the labor force. A month earlier it was 3.9 percent.
Although Statistics Netherlands does not explicitly link it to the corona crisis, the government’s economic support packages have saved many employees from being fired. With the support measures, companies can, under certain conditions, claim wage support and thus retain employees.
The decrease in unemployment is also due to the fact that fewer young people entered the labor market. The number of workers has grown by about 19,000 per month in the past three months.
Downward trend since August
Despite the decline, there are still more unemployed than at the start of the corona crisis. In March 2020, 2.9 percent of the labor force was unemployed. In the months that followed, unemployment rose to 4.6 percent, but has started to decline again since August.
At the end of January, 289,000 people were receiving unemployment benefits from the UWV, 1 percent more than one month previously. Particularly to personnel in sectors affected by the lockdown, more benefits were paid, such as in the retail trade, catering industry and culture sector.