Some 25% 15- to 75-year-olds in the Netherlands were not in work last year or looking for a job last year, the lowest percentage in 20 years, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.
In 2003 30% of 15 to 75-year-olds were not officially part of the working population, the CBS said.
Most of the 3.3 million people who are not in work or looking for a job were pensioners, but the total also includes people in education or who cannot work because of their health.
While the over-45s account for the bulk of those not in work, their proportion is shrinking and older people in particular are working for longer.
In 2003, 59% of women aged between 45 and 75 were not considered to be part of the working population, but that has now dropped to 43%. Nevertheless, women over the age of 45 are far less likely to work than men.
The CBS also points out that the increase in the state pension age has also had an impact. In 2015, when the pension age was 65 years and three months, some 82% of 65-year-olds had stopped working. Three years later, when the pension age had risen to 66, only 64% of the over 65s had actually retired.
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