Unemployment continues to rise, but less rapidly

Before last month there were 419,000 people who are willing and able to work without work, Statistics Netherlands reports. It is again an increase, but unemployment is rising less rapidly than in the previous month

In June, unemployment rose even faster than ever before. Then 74,000 people were added who were willing and available, but could not find work. In July, the number of unemployed rose by 15,000

In total, 4.5 percent of the labour force is now unemployed. This means that the level is now slightly above what the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis expects for 2020 as a whole

Van Mulligen: “Especially in April a lot of people lost their jobs, but stayed at home because they didn’t think there was much chance of finding a new job. Or simply because they couldn’t search because of the corona measures. And those people are now slowly returning to the labour market, looking again.”

Young people hit harder

One of the reasons why the number of current WW benefits has remained more or less the same for two months. In the first months of the corona crisis, the number of young people in WW rose sharply, but they are generally only entitled to benefits for a short time because they have not yet worked for long. They are often entitled to three months’ benefit or less.

So for many young people, their benefit expired again. Subsequently, half of the young people disappeared from the WW in July, not because they found work again, but because they had reached the maximum duration. In total, the number of new WW benefits remains considerably higher than before the corona crisis.

Large differences by region

Not only between age groups are the differences in WW benefits large, figures from the UWV show that the situation also differs per region. In the Amsterdam region last month there were more than 60 percent more people on WW benefits than in July last year, whereas in a region such as Rivierenland in Gelderland the increase was much smaller, at around 14 percent.

In the hospitality industry, among others, more people are at work again. Cafรฉs and restaurants have temporarily been almost at a standstill but are now partially open again. And so again people are needed to tap beer, make coffee, prepare food and serve the terraces.

After rising again consumer confidence

The deterioration is partly due to consumers being more pessimistic about future unemployment. Of all those questioned, 89 percent expect unemployment to rise in the next twelve months. This would also be in line with estimates by, for example, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB). Only 6 percent think things will improve in the coming period. The gap between positive and negative answers has never been so wide in the past seven years

For the time being, this does not detract from people’s willingness to buy. The willingness to buy remained almost the same at -9 compared to July.