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Netherlands – Unused labour force among the smallest in EU

07 September 2012

The Netherlands has one of the lowest numbers of “unused labour” when compared to other EU states, the Dutch statistics office reported. Last year, the unused labour force, defined as people available for employment within a fortnight or people who have been looking for work over the past four weeks, was “only” 6%. 

This means there were  around 750,000 people either available or looking for work among the 15 to 75-year-olds. This number was only topped by Malta, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. The EU average is 9% while the largest number of unused labour could be found in Estonia (13%), Latvia (15%) and Spain (18%).

Just over half (52%) of the unused labour force in the Netherlands are unemployed. These are people who are available and looking for employment. An additional 40% are shortly available, but were not actively looking for work during the past four weeks.

This follows other news in Netherlands which saw a growing number of people being pessimistic about finding jobs. In the second quarter of the year, 57,000 Dutch people had altogether stopped looking for work, because they thought their chances of success were just too small. Women and those with lower education were most doubtful about finding work. 


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