The number of Dutch people receiving social assistance benefits increased in the past quarter for the first time in three years. The main cause is an increase in the number of unemployed young people, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reports Monday.

The number of young people up to the age of 27 who received social assistance benefits in the second quarter was more than 5 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. According to CBS economist Peter Hein van Mulligen, the cause should, not surprisingly, be mainly sought in the corona crisis.

Relatively many young people have lost their jobs since the outbreak of COVID-19. "And because young people have not worked for many years and have therefore built up few unemployment benefits, they are more likely to be on social assistance," explains Van Mulligen.

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He also suspects that some of the young people who have recently graduated have difficulty finding a job and therefore immediately end up on social assistance after their studies.

The total number of social assistance benefits in the Netherlands at the end of June was 427,000. That was two thousand more than at the same time a year earlier, which is a small increase of about 0.5 percent. It was the first time since the third quarter of 2017 that the number of social assistance recipients increased.