In September the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. Between March and August, the number of jobseekers rose sharply from 273,000 to 426,000 due to the first corona pandemic outbreak.
Due to the partial lockdown announced in mid-October, the number of new unemployment benefits at the UWV rose sharply. Every week there was an average of 8,500 new applications, an increase of 37 percent. In particular, many new applications for benefits were made from the catering sector, which is struggling with forced closings. Since the same number of unemployment benefits was discontinued, the total number of benefits remained the same.
“The total number of unemployment benefits stayed the same in October, but there’s a lot of dynamism underneath it,” says Rob Witjes, head of labor market information at UWV. “Because the number of new unemployment benefits increased by more than a third in the same month.” Witjes assumes that the number of new benefits will continue to increase.
In addition to the unemployed, there is a much larger group of 3.8 million people who do not work but are also not part of the labor force. This applies, for example, to people who are not available for work due to their age, but also to people who have not recently looked for work. Their numbers have decreased by an average of 5,000 per month over the past three months.