The number of unemployed Dutch people last month was 297,000.

That is 3.2 percent of the working population.

It is the first time since March 2020, when the corona crisis started, that the number of unemployed is below 300,000.

This is evident from figures from the CBS on Thursday.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, unemployment rose rapidly, from 2.9 percent in March 2020 to 4.6 percent in August of the same year.

Since then, the number of unemployed job seekers has been declining steadily, with the exception of February, when there was a minimal increase.

Unemployment has fallen mainly because more people found a job.

That sounds logical, but the decline could also be caused by people simply stopping looking for a job.

These people are then no longer counted as part of the working population.

However, that has not been the case in recent months.

In fact, the number of people who started searching again increased, especially among young people.

They also found a new job relatively often.

The number of workers in the Netherlands is now approximately 9,065,000.

That is slightly more than the 9,057,000 of February 2020, when the pandemic was yet to break out in the Netherlands.

The shortage in the labor market is coming back

Rob Witjes, head of labor market information at benefits agency UWV, says that more and more employers are looking for staff.

"Unemployment is falling, the vacancy market is increasing again, the corona measures are being phased out, and the economy is growing this year and in 2022, according to the Central Planning Bureau. That is four times good news. However, it also means that the shortage is returning to the labor market. It's harder for employers to find staff."

UWV keeps track of the professions for which there are good job opportunities.

The list of promising professions now includes 212 professions, mainly in the usual sectors, such as technology, education and care.

But there is also a demand for opticians, sales staff and sailors in inland shipping.

Witjes: "More than two thirds of the vacancies in the Netherlands are open to professions that offer promising opportunities. At the same time, one third of people with unemployment benefits are registered with UWV from a promising profession. This says something about the increasing tension on the labor market. "

Number of unemployment benefits also fell sharply

At the end of June, 238,000 people received unemployment benefits. That is 11,300 less than the month before and is the smallest number since the start of the pandemic. In February 2020, for example, 240,000 people still had unemployment benefits. Young people in particular are much less often unemployed than in the preceding months.