Welfare benefit claims decline for second quarter in a row

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Underpayment is a common problem. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Fewer people were claiming welfare benefits at the end of the third quarter of this year than during the same period in 2020, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

By the end of September, 419,000 people were claiming welfare (bijstand), down 5,500 on the year earlier period, the CBS said. It was the second quarterly decline in a row.

CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen told broadcaster NOS he suspected the tight labour market had led to more people getting jobs.

‘Around half the people claiming welfare benefits will always do so, because they are either ill or just not suitable for work,’ he said. ‘The rest, however, can leave the benefit system relatively quickly.’

Almost 70% of the population now has some form of paid work and that figure has never been so high, Van Mulligen said.

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