The number of jobless people in the Netherlands rose by 12,000 in December 2014, the first increase since May 2014, the national statistics office CBS said last Thursday, January 22, 2015.
The increase takes the Dutch unemployment total to 642,000, or 8.1% of the working population. That is still 24,000 down on the beginning of last year. Unemployment decreased between May and August and was stable at 8% from September to November.
Employment minister Lodewijk Asscher said in a reaction to the Dutch newspaper The Volkskrant that the figures are disappointing but stressed that govern economists predict jobless total will go down again this year. Reducing unemployment remains a top government priority, he said.
The Dutch unemployment rate is 6.5%, one of the lowest in the EU.