The official Dutch unemployment rate rose to 7.2% in December, national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
A further 19,000 people joined the ranks of the unemployed in December, taking the total to 571,000, the CBS said. The jobless rate has been rising steadily since June 2011 when it was almost 5%.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit (ww) rose by 70,000 in December, compared with December 2011, taking the total to 340,000.
In particular, there was a 70% increase in jobless benefit claims from people who lost their jobs in the building trade.