Jobless benefit claims in urban belt almost doubled since 2008

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the Randstad – the central urban belt spanning Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam – has doubled since the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

The national statistics office CBS said on Monday, jobless benefit claims in the Randstad region were up 90% over the past five years. In the Netherlands as a whole, the increase is 77%.

By the end of last year, 277,000 people were claiming unemployment benefit (WW), or 25 in 1,000 working-age adults.

The number of people in the Netherlands receiving welfare (bijstand) benefits at the end of last year reached 373,000, or 34 in every 1,000 adults.

A further 782,000 people live on some form of incapacity benefits (WAO or WIA). That is down marginally on five years ago, the CBS said.