Statistics Netherlands announced today that the number of social security claimants has risen by 8 thousand to 434 thousand in the second quarter of 2014. The growth rate is the same as one year ago. As yet, the improved situation on the labour market appears to have no effect on the number of social security claimants.
In the first half of 2014, the labour market began to show the first cautious signs of recovery. The number of job vacancies increased marginally, the number of unemployment benefits decreased and fewer jobs were lost, but the number of social security recipients was still growing rapidly. Typically, it takes some time before labour market developments will affect the number of social security recipients. If the number of people receiving unemployment benefits is reduced, this will not immediately lead to a reduction in social security recipients. In fact, only a small proportion of people receiving unemployment benefits will eventually become dependent on social security. Persons with employed partners or personal assets are usually not entitled to social security.
Nearly half of social security claimants have lived on benefits for three years or more
People living on social security, often have a larger distance to the labour market than, for example, unemployed people or school-leavers. Therefore, they are generally beyond the scope of employers. People on unemployment benefits have the advantage of recent work experience; school-leavers have up-to-date knowledge and are well trained in picking up new information. People who have lived on social security for a long period of time have the largest distance to the labour market. An estimated half of social security claimants aged 27 years or older have lived on benefits for three years or longer, versus two-thirds of over-45s.