Despite the coronavirus crisis, the official Dutch unemployment rate actually fell for the third month in a row in November, national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.
Over the past three months, the number of people without a job has gone down by an average of 16,000 per month, while the number of people officially in work rose by 22,000 per month, the CBS said.
This takes the current unemployment rate down from 4.3% in October to 4% last month. The official jobless total rose by some 150,000 people between March and August.
The number of jobless benefit claims (ww) also fell by 0.7%, but are up 21% on a year ago. However, there was an increase in unemployment benefit claims from people working in the hospitality industry, in the cultural sector and transport and logistics.
CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen told Radio 1 news that the decline in the official unemployment rate in the middle of the second coronavirus wave is ‘a little mysterious’.
The drop is probably down to government financial support for companies affected by the crisis and the offset in redundancies in the hospitality sector by opportunities elsewhere, he said.
‘More people are working in call centres in contact tracing and there are more jobs in other sectors,’ he said. ‘The number of bankruptcies is not going up, thanks to government support and that is helping keep employment in balance.’
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