While the overall unemployment rate in the Netherlands remained steady at 3.6% of the working population in August, a concerning trend has emerged with increasing youth unemployment.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported that many young individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 who are currently unemployed had jobs in the past year.

This year, the total unemployment rate in the Netherlands exhibited relative stability, but disparities were evident when examining different age groups. Youth unemployment surged from 7.5% in December of the previous year to 8.7% in August. In contrast, the unemployment rate among individuals aged 25 to 44 remained largely unchanged at 7.8% to 7.9%, while it decreased from 2.5% to 2.1% among those aged 45 to 74.

Of the 348,000 Netherlands residents classified as unemployed in the second quarter of 2023, 189,000 had been employed in the past year. In the same quarter the previous year, this figure stood at 166,000. Notably, the increase was primarily observed among young workers. In the second quarter of 2022, 74,000 young unemployed individuals had been employed in the preceding year, a number that increased to 86,000 in the second quarter of 2023. Additionally, 29,000 young people had no prior work experience.

Unemployed individuals over the age of 25 were more likely than their younger counterparts to have experienced long-term unemployment, with their last employment occurring two years or more ago. However, even in this category, there was a decrease from 73,000 in the second quarter of 2022 to 60,000 in the past quarter. Among young workers, 15,000 individuals had not been employed for two years or more in the second quarter of this year.

By the end of August, the Dutch benefits agency UWV disbursed 156,400 active unemployment benefits, marking a 2.9% increase compared to the previous month, with 4,400 more benefits paid out. In comparison to the previous year, active unemployment benefits rose by 4,700, representing a 3.1% increase.

To be categorized as unemployed by CBS, individuals must have no paid work, actively seek employment, and be available for immediate work. Beyond the unemployed, the Netherlands also recorded 3.2 million non-working individuals in August, primarily comprising retirees or those unable to work due to illness or disability. Photo by Esfn, Wikimedia commons.