Dutch unemployment rate dips in September, but more jobs could go

Despite the economic impact of coronavirus, the official Dutch unemployment rate fell from 4.6% to 4.4% between August and September, national statistics office CBS published this October.

CBS makes known that in total, a further 2000 people were in work in September compared to August. The number of claims for unemployment benefit (ww-uitkering) also fell: there were 278,000 people claiming the work-related benefit at the end of September, some 13,000 down on the previous month. The decline was particularly noteworthy among youngsters, but this can also be partially explained by the fact that many of them were only entitled to 3 months of unemployment benefits because they were working on temporary contracts.

The initial coronavirus impact has now filtered through the jobs market and this is likely to flatten down, CBS economist Peter Hein van Mulligen told news website Nu.nl. ‘We did see an increase in the number of jobs in catering, for example,’ he said.

Van Mulligen told Nu.nl that the ‘party could be short-lived’. The second coronavirus wave and the government’s stricter measures are likely to have repercussions on the labour market.

Economists said earlier they expect unemployment to increase sharply towards the end of the year and into 2021, as more companies go bust or lay off staff. They now say the ‘partial’ lockdown announced by the government will end the current recovery.

After the press conference of Tuesday, November 3rd, forecasts could be formulated again.

[Sources: CBS, Nu.nl]