The number of people claiming welfare benefits in the Netherlands reached the lowest level since September 2013 in the first quarter of 2022, national statistics agency CBS said on Tuesday.
By the end of March, 407,000 people up to retirement age were claiming welfare (bijstand), a drop of 23,000 on a year ago.
The reduction in claims was most notable among the under-27s, the CBS said. Fewer than 35,000 people under the age of 27 are now claiming the benefit.
Earlier this month, the CBS said the number of people in work in the Netherlands had passed the nine million mark for the first time.
‘Labour market participation has never been so high. Some people have two jobs,’ said CBS chief economist Pieter Hein van Mulligen. ‘We see that many companies are struggling with the shortage of personnel. And that will continue for the time being as the population continues to age.’
Welfare benefits are claimed by people who have never worked or who do not qualify for unemployment benefits, and by pensioners who are not entitled to a full state pension because they have not been in the Netherlands since they were 17.
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