The official Dutch unemployment rate hit 7% in November and over half a million people are now without a job, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
A year ago, the jobless total was 5.8%. Over the past year 100,000 people have lost their jobs, taking the total number of people officially without work to 552,000.
More than half the jobs which were lost over the past three months involved people over the age of 45. The under-25s have also been hard hit and youth unemployment is now 13.7%, the CBS said.
The consumer confidence index also took another knock in December, falling two points to -39. Consumers are particularly concerned about economic developments next year, the CBS said.
The economic downturn has also led households to reign in their spending. In October, consumer spending fell by 2.4%, compared with the year-earlier period. Spending on new cars fell 30%.
The economic crisis has had a knock-on effect on the personal lives of people living in the Netherlands, the CBS said in another report.
The number of live births will reach just 176,000, the lowest figure since the 1980s, the CBS said. The number of weddings and registered partnerships is also down and families are much less likely to move house.
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