Despite the economic impact of coronavirus, the official Dutch unemployment rate fell from 4.6% to 4.4% between August and September, national statistics office CBS said.
In total, a further 2,000 people were in work last month than in August. The number of claims for unemployment benefit (ww) also fell – there were 278,000 people claiming the work-related benefit at the end of September, some 13,000 down on the previous month.
The initial coronavirus impact has now filtered through the jobs market and this is likely to account for the drop, CBS economist Peter Hein van Mulligen told news website Nu.nl. ‘We did see an increase in the number of jobs in catering, for example,’ he said.
The decline was particularly noteworthy among youngsters, but this can also be partially explained by the fact that many of them were only entitled to three months in ww benefits because they were working on temporary contracts.
There were also fewer new claims, the UWV state jobs agency, which administers the benefit, said.
Economists said earlier they expect unemployment to increase sharply towards the end of the year and into 2021, as more companies go bust or lay off staff.
They now say the new ‘partial’ lockdown announced by the government earlier this week will end the current recovery. Rabobank in particular is forecasting the economy will only grow 1% next year, after contracting 5.2% in 2020.
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