Social security benefit agency UWV said on Wednesday it expects the number of people claiming unemployment benefit (ww) to rise by 100,000 to 386,000 this year, as the effect of the coronavirus pandemic hits jobs.
‘It is clear that the pandemic is having an unparalleled economic impact, and it is unclear how and when the economy and jobs market will recover,’ said UWV board member Nathalie van Berkel. ‘We don’t, for example, know when the lockdown will end.’
The UWV handed out €14.3bn in salary support under the government’s NOW scheme last year, and expects to pay at least €3.3bn more this year.
The official Dutch unemployment rate fell again slightly to 3.9% in December, as measures such as the NOW scheme kept people in work, national statistics agency CBS said last week.
Some 368,000 people were officially without a job in the Netherlands last month and the total has gone down by an average of 15,000 per month for the previous three months.
However, the number of unemployment benefit claims rose in December for the first time in six months. In all, 9,000 new claims were added month on month, taking the total to 286,000.
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