As jobless total drops again, Dutch firms struggle to find staff

A jobs fair in Amsterdam. Photo:

The official Dutch unemployment rate fell again in July to 4.8% of the working population, national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Some 436,000 people are now without a job, down from 700,000 at the height of the crisis in 2014. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit has also fallen to 364,000.

On Wednesday, the CBS said that although the official unemployment rate is low, 1.3 million people would still like a job or to work more hours.

Nevertheless, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find new staff. New research by the CBS, chambers of trade and employers organisations shows that one in six firms struggle to find good candidates.

This is twice the figure for hard-to-fill-vacancies compared to a year ago, the report said. Business services, IT and construction top the list of these vacancies.

One in five employers also said they planned to take on more staff in the third quarter of the year.