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Unemployment rate reaches 7.5%, consumer confidence hits record low

Thursday 21 February 2013

A string of gloomy figures from the national statistics office CBS on Thursday show the Dutch economy is still in crisis.

The jobless rate in January hit 7.5%, the CBS said, a rise of 0.3 percentage point on December. Over the past three months, an average of 19,000 people have joined the ranks of the unemployed. The northern provinces were particularly hard hit, the CBS said.

The jobless rate among the under-25s continues to grow. The youth unemployment rate has now risen to 15%, up from 13% in December.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher described the job market prospects as 'not rosy in the short term'. There is no simple solution for the rise in unemployment but the government will continue to invest in education and innovation and deal with the European crisis, the minister said.


Rising unemployment is having an knock-on effect on consumer confidence which has now fallen to a record low. The consumer confidence index fell nine points to -44, its lowest level since current records began in 1986.

Consumers were particularly worried about their own economic situation, the CBS said.

House prices have also continued to decline, dropping nearly 10% in January compared with the previous year. This is closely connected to the implementation of tougher mortgage rules on January 1, the CBS said. House prices have fallen 19% since reaching a peak in 2008.


New industrial figures also show no end in sight to the Netherlands' economic woes. Corporate investments fell 8% in December, compared with December 2011.

Initial indications show the situation is likely to have worsened in February, the CBS said.

However, exports continue to thrive. The value of exports in 2012 reached €431bn, up 5% on the previous year. Most of this was due to higher prices.

However, two-thirds of export value comes from transhipments - goods arriving in the Netherlands and then being shipped on elsewhere. 'We earn relatively little on this,' the CBS said.

The government's macro-economic forecasting agency CPB is due to publish new figures next week, which will determine whether or not the cabinet embarks on a new round of spending cuts, news agency ANP said.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Not so bad considering huge housing and commercial property crisis, banks under government control, outdated IT firms, and rising xenophobia. Superficial AAA rating is still there.

By Utku Tekinel | 21 February 2013 11:09 AM

The solution is obviously simple. We need more austerity to help bail out the big banks. That should fix everything.

By AnotherExpat | 21 February 2013 11:24 AM

Keep on saving. Close universities, schools, theatres, day care, hospitals. Replace all food with cheap chemical equivalents.
Dutch economy is build as solid as spanish banks.
Produce more hot air. May be oranges will start to grow.

By Max | 21 February 2013 12:43 PM

Well, Asscher's got the solution I just read: Let all foreigners sign a participation contract, this solve all problems including the crisis; in the meantime we can proceed as "Max" wrote: bravo! As for the ridiculous work ethics in NL: once over 35, one does not even get invited to job interviews anymore even if one fits the job requirements a 100%. I would like to know how exactly we are going to continue working until we are 70 if no one wants one over 35???

By Dr. Frankenstein | 21 February 2013 2:24 PM

Austerity means more jobs loses and a worse economic climate. Saving is not the way to go in this climate. Increasing the productivity and innovative level, abolised capital and saving tax, lower VAT and company tax are better measures.

By ufo | 21 February 2013 4:30 PM

Does this really surprise anyone with a minimal amount of awareness, vision and/or education? We are still a long way from the bottom - more on that on DutchNews soon, I'm sure.

By Z | 21 February 2013 5:25 PM

Does having your own website, claiming to offer some service, and owning a cell phone make you employed? There are so many beautifully designed websites of supposedly legitimate company, but once you click the "contact" link, it's just one dude with a 06 number. I bet that percentage would be a lot higher if you start excluding "employees" of these "companies". Good stuff!

By Kaccie | 21 February 2013 6:22 PM

the chickens are coming home to roost.Spend spend and spend. for some reason mortgages dont have to be paid off. so we pay interest only and on top we go to spain 2 twice a year.

By kees | 21 February 2013 7:28 PM

What do you expect form a country that has had no real leadership for years - first Balkenende and now Rutte - neither are real leaders. So, let's just keep our deficit at rock bottom - because that must be more important that investing int he economy and Dutch people to get the economy moving. FOOLS!

By Lisa | 21 February 2013 9:50 PM

Close another 70 coffeeshops in Amsterdam too - to chase away the 15% of tourists who visit to have a semi-legal smoke of weed. Make hash illegal too, and strong weed - so coffeeshop workers have no jobs. All politicians first employment needs to be 5 years working in a dynamite factory - to see if they really care...

By Max Harmreduction | 21 February 2013 10:17 PM

Maybe the economy was to big for the size and population of the country and is adjusting itself.

Remember theres countries in Asia that have more then a 100 million people and only have half the GDP of the Netherlands. How much can a small country like the Netherlands grow to?

By KEV | 22 February 2013 1:45 AM

On another note: The Netherlands has the 6th highest Current Account Surplus in the world which means its a very competitive country and making lots of money internationally. Even though people talk about the countries debt it is a creditor nation.

I am not sure what jobs are exactly being lost but they must be (obviously) hurting the country domestically.

By KEV | 22 February 2013 2:06 AM

I came to this beautiful country over 20 years ago and have watched, with dismay, a steady decline in almost every aspect of Dutch society. I truly believe the root cause to be a succession of wishy-washy, weak willed governments who seem totally incapable of making any strong, decisive policies to benefit the decent, hard working people of this land. The current bunch of clowns are totally in fear and thrall of the bankers as a consequence of whose criminal mis-management we are all paying dearly. If the government had any balls they would legislate the bankers bonuses to benefit the economy and ease up on the tax payers and the populace.

By Terence | 22 February 2013 8:33 AM

Why don't we blame the foreigners! Lets have some type of declaration of intent from them because they can't be trusted!

By EddieTheRez | 22 February 2013 1:12 PM

Weak government, as your correspondent Terrence says, is the problem. The rules/guidelines are ignored; where in the world is self-regulation effective? The so-called Balkenende norm, is totally ignored... while the prime minister's salary is kept at 200K, everybody else draw fabulous salary and benefits. Manufacturing has left Dutch shores, and the so-called knowledge-economy is no more than an aspiration, with few scientists and engineers are being produced. Lay-offs and increased VAT take their toll on the economy, etc...

By phily | 23 February 2013 6:59 PM

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