Jobless total breaks 500,000 barrier for first time since 1996

Latest employment figures show the Dutch jobless total rose to 500,000 or 6.5% of the working population in July, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

It is the first time since 1996 that the number of people without work has gone over 500,000, the CBS said.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits has also risen slightly to 298,000. Youth unemployment has risen by 54%, the CBS said.
The construction, healthcare and temporary employment sectors have been hardest hit.
Opposition MPs were quick to blame the outgoing government’s policies for the rise in the jobless total.
‘The Rutte recipe of one-sided savings is definitely bankrupt,’ said Labour leader Diederik Samsom.
The FNV trade union federation also blamed government policies. ‘The cabinet does not do enough towards boosting confidence and spending,’ the union said in a statement. ‘People miss security’.
The next government should make tackling unemployment its number one priority, the union said.