The number of people claiming welfare benefits (bijstand) fell for the first time in almost 10 years last year, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.
In total, there were 3,500 fewer people claiming bijstand at the end of last year, taking the total to 514,000.
However, the reduction was confined to people in the 27 to 45 age group and there was ‘clear growth’ in the number of claimants over the age of 45, the CBS said.
The last time the number of welfare benefits claims fell was in 2008, before the impact of the economic crisis was fully felt on the jobs market.
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