Jobless total heads for record low

Unemployment in the Netherlands is set to reach a 25-year low in 2009, just five years after reaching a peak of 700,000, the state-run job centre organisation CWI said on Thursday.

The CWI expects the jobless total to reach 407,000 at the end of this year and to fall to 374,000 by 2009. ‘That is about the same as the beginning of the 1980s,’ the organisation said.
By the end of next year, there will be 8.8 million official jobs in the Netherlands and 1.1 million vacancies, the organisation predicts. ‘Many of these vacancies are because people are job-hopping in this tight market,’ the CWI says. ‘Unemployment is falling and the number of vacancies will remain high.’
The government is keen to tap into hidden unemployment as a way of reducing the shortfall. In particular, it plans to take steps to encourage older workers not to take early retirement – only 50% of the over 55s in the Netherlands still work.
Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the economy went down for the 10th month in a row in June, new figures from the national statistics office show.

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