The number of people claiming welfare benefits (bijstand) rose again over the past six months but less sharply than in previous periods, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.
Some 13,000 extra people began claiming welfare in the January to July period, taking the total to 447,000. Last year 16,000 people joined the list.
The sharpest rise was among the over-45s who now account for 217,000 of the claimants. This is due to the rise in long-term unemployment among older workers. People who lose their jobs are entitled to a maximum of three years unemployment benefits but then move on to welfare.
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