Nearly 4.1 million people did not have paid work for a variety of reasons. In addition to the unemployed mentioned earlier, there were nearly 3.8 million people who had not looked or/nor been immediately available for work recently. They are not included in the labour force. Their number dropped by an average of 2 thousand per month over the previous three months. At the end of February, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) recorded 274 thousand current unemployment (WW) benefits.
In order to enable comparison of cyclical developments in the labour market between countries, the unemployment indicator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is often taken as a measure. According to this indicator, the ‘unemployed’ includes all 15 to 74-year-olds who do not have paid work but who have been looking for paid work recently and who are immediately available. There were 312 thousand unemployed in February, approximately the same as in November 2008, just before the crisis. However, the unemployment rate is currently lower: 3.4 percent against 3.6 percent in November 2008. This is because the labour force - the number of unemployed and employed combined - has increased from 8.7 to 9.2 million people. The unemployed now constitute a smaller share.
|Unemployment indicator (ILO)|
(15 to 74 yrs, seasonally adjusted)
|Unemployment benefits (15 yrs to pension entitlement age)|