It can get a little confusing trying to work out just how many people are out of work in the Netherlands given the plethora of statistics that seem to centre on unemployment.
On Monday, the UWV – the body which pays out social security benefits – announced that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit had fallen to 165,000.
But the number of people on welfare benefits (bijstand) is now around 281,000, according to the Dutch statistics office CBS.
The European statistics office Eurostat says the Dutch unemployment rate was 2.9% in November.
The CBS puts the number of people officially unemployed at 344,000 out of a working population of 7.6 million.
Meanwhile, the job centres organisation CWI said last week that the number of job seekers in the Netherlands had fallen to 458,000 or 6.1% of the working population.
The CBS points out that not-working job seekers should not be confused with unemployed people because people who are not entitled to benefits are not officially unemployed. At the same time, people who are getting benefits but not looking for work are not officially job-seekers.
Confused? The government has made tackling long-term unemployment a priority. Perhaps it could start by defining exactly what it is talking about.
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