Unemployment rises slightly, but remains below 4% – ‘the labor market is still tight’

Unemployment rose slightly in the last month of the past year, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Unemployment fell sharply over the year.

The unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent in December 2021, slightly higher than the 3.7 percent in November.

The number of unemployed stood at 369,000 in December 2021. In the past three months, the number of unemployed has fallen by an average of 10,000 per month. The number of people aged 15 to 75 in work increased by an average of 25,000 per month to 9.4 million in the past three months.

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In December, 3.8 million people aged 15 to 75 were out of paid work for a variety of reasons. In addition to the unemployed, there were 3.4 million people who had not recently sought or are not immediately available for work. They are not counted as part of the working population. Their numbers have fallen by an average of 3000 per month in the last three months.

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Number of unemployment benefits increased slightly

The number of unemployment benefits has increased slightly for the first time since February 2021. At the end of December there were almost 192,000 current unemployment benefits, an increase of 2,500 compared to the end of November.

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Labor market expert Rob Witjes of the UWV says in an explanation that the increase is normal. “At the end of the year, there is always an increase in the number of unemployment benefits. This is due to seasonal effects from construction and agriculture. In December, there were also the minor effects of the corona measures and the increase in the number of young people under 25 who ended up in unemployment.

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Despite this slight increase, the number of unemployment benefits is still low, according to Witjes. Compared to the end of 2020, the number of unemployment benefits is 33 percent lower and the influx into unemployment in 2021 is the lowest in thirteen years. “The labor market is still tight,” says Witjes.

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New measurement method for unemployment

As a result of a new EU regulation, CBS has changed the way it measures the labor force. With this method, not only more unemployed people, but also more workers are shown. On the basis of the new measurement method, unemployment and labor participation are higher than according to the old method.

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Under the old method, unemployment would have been 2.8 percent in December, compared to 2.7 percent in November.

Author: Jobly