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Recruiters in the Netherlands continuously report difficult labour market conditions in the country and the Dutch statistics office just published the latest unemployment figures which show that the jobless rate increased to 7.7% or 613,000 last month.
This means that the number of unemployed people increased by 21,000 from January when unemployment stood at 7.5%. A year ago in February, the joblessness rate was considerably lower at 6%, but the number of people out of work in the Netherlands is still one of the lowest in Europe.
The data also shows that more people claimed unemployment benefits in February with this figure rising by 7,000 to 377,000. The statistics office reports “dramatic growth” in unemployment benefits in the transport and storage sector.
Over the last three months, unemployment has been steadily on the rise and grew by an average of 20,000 per month. Three months ago, unemployment stood at 7.0%. Men were particularly affected by the increase in unemployment. Three months ago, 6.8% of men were out of work, compared to 7.7% in February. Among women, this figure rose from 7.2% to 7.8%.
The Dutch economy slid back into recession in the fourth quarter, but is expected to return to a modest growth in the second half of 2013.