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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The economic crisis in The Netherlands hits men harder than women: unemployment in the group between 25-45 years doubled within three years.

The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (  presented today some remarkable data on the Dutch economy, concerning unemployment. In this investigation Q2 of 2011 is compared with Q2 of 2008, when the crisis had not arrived yet in The Netherlands. Text and charts are based on the CBS data and translated to English by me:
Number of unemployed men (25-45 yrs) doubled within three years
The number of unemployed men from 25 to 45 years more than doubled over the last three years: to 99,000 in Q2, 2011 from 46,000 in Q2, 2008. The men in the range from 25 to 45 are hit the hardest, as far as their labor position is concerned.
Especially men are hit by the crisis
The number of unemployed men between 25 and 45 years is much higher than before the crisis. Also among the category of 45 and older, men as well as women, there is increased unemployment. The increase in this group, however, is less vigorous. The unemployment among youngsters and women between 25 and 45 was initially increasing too, but returned in Q2, 2011 to precrisis levels.
Unemployed labor force, Q2

Unemployed labor force; click to enlarge
More jobs in healthcare, less in manufacturing and building & construction
That unemployment soared especially among men in the group from 25 to 45, is connected to the industries where this group is mainly working. In the manufacturing industry, building & construction, farming and business services about 200,000 jobs disappeared, since Q2, 2008. At the government and especially in the healthcare industry, the number of jobs increased. In both industries relatively much women are working.

These are not good statistics.
Especially the fact that unemployment is soaring for men between 25 and 45 is bad for the economy in the long run. Although 99,000 people seems like a relatively low number, one should remember that this is about 1.5% of the total labor force in The Netherlands.
This is the range of ages where families want to have children: in The Netherlands this often means that the man keeps on working and the woman starts to work part-time after pregnancy and birth or even decides to stay at home permanently. Women with a full-time job and very young children is not a usual combination in The Netherlands.
When the man in the family then loses his job, due to economic reasons, it is much harder for families to have a baby. This might lead to postponement or even abandonment of having children in some cases. 

With the growing obsolescence issue in The Netherlands, this would be bad news from an economic point of view. Especially, if the higher unemployment among men between 25 and 45 will be a semi-permanent situation.

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