Unemployed young people pushed first social assistance increase in 2.5 years

Business

At the end of June the Netherlands had 427 thousand residents who were receiving social assistance benefits, an increase of almost 2 thousand compared to a year earlier and 12 thousand more than in December 2019. Especially more young people had to call on social assistance, Statistics Netherlands said on Monday. This is the first increase in active social assistance benefits in 2.5 years.

Compared to end June 2019, the number of social assistance recipients increased among young people up to the age of 27 and older workers aged 45 or older. Among young people, the increase was highest amounting to more than 5 percent, or 2 thousand people. Among older workers, the number of social assistance recipients increased by 0.4 percent. In the age groups in between, this number decreased slightly.

“The fact that more young people in particular ended up on social assistance benefits is related to a decrease in labor participation in this age group,” the stats office said. Young people are more likely to work on temporary or flexible contracts, making them easier to dismiss if a company gets into trouble. The coronavirus crisis put many companies in trouble.

According to Statistics Netherlands, this was the first time since the first quarter of 2017 that significantly more people ended up on social assistance than people stopped their benefits.