The latest figures suggest that employment is on the rise in the Netherlands even though the country battles with recession.
Unemployment in the Netherlands, already one of the lowest in the Eurozone, declined further in November, bringing good news to the economy which has been shrinking since the start of 2023.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached a five-month low of 3.5 % from 3.6% in the previous month, according to data from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics.
There were 357,000 unemployed people in November, down from 361,000 a month ago. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits registered at 160,200.
The youth unemployment rate, describing the 15-25 age group, declined to 8.2% in November from 8.4% in October.
Unemployment peaked in September when the seasonally adjusted rate was 3.7%, equal to the average unemployment over the three months to September. In this period, unemployment rose by an average of 6,000 per month. In October, however, the rate has started to come down despite fears that the country is battling a worsening economic picture.
However, the Dutch economy has been contracting quarter-to-quarter since the beginning of the year, and in the six months to September in an annual comparison.
The worst may be over, however, as analysts expect the Dutch economy to exit the recession in the last three months of the year as business activity and consumption have started to improve recently due to high wages combined with lower inflation.
“Partly thanks to an improving consumption outlook, the Dutch economy is expected to grow by a modest 0.7% in 2024, following economic stagnation in 2023,” said Marcel Klok senior economist at ING in his outlook for 2024.
The European Commission is more optimistic, forecasting 1.1% growth for 2024 for the Dutch economy.