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Netherlands / Unemployment tops 8%

The official Dutch unemployment figure reached a new high of 8.1% in March, according to the latest figures from the national statistics office CBS.

In total, 643,000 people are without a job, an average increase of 24,000 a month since the start of the year. The sharpest rise was among people aged 25 to 45, the CBS said.

The unemployment rate has risen steadily for the past 18 months, breaking the 500,000 barrier in mid August for the first time since 1996. Never before have so many people been out of work in the Netherlands.

Social accord

‘These very serious figures show how important it is that we have reached agreement with unions and employers,’ social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said in a reaction.

The minister was referring to last week’s deal involving freezing €4.3bn in new austerity measures plus new efforts to boost employment.

In particular, it is important that €600m has been allocated to help younger and older workers find a job through extra training and internships, the minister said. ‘We are now focused on reversing the rise in unemployment,’ he said.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

Dutch News

via DutchNews.nl – Unemployment tops 8%, ministers say figures are ‘very serious’.

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