Labour and income

Figures - Social security

The number of people claiming income support has increased by 162 thousand since 2008, to 506 thousand at the end of Q3 2016. There are more women than men on income support, but since 2008, the sharpest increase has been among men. At the beginning of 2008, there were still 1.7 women on income support for each male claimant; this ratio dropped to 1.3 in Q3 2016.

The number of people who have lived on income support for five years or more has decreased. In Q3 2008, they still accounted for as much as 48 percent of all income support claimants, versus 33 percent in Q3 2016. In that quarter, half of the claimants had been on income support for less than three years.

Since the start of the recession at the end of 2008, the number of unemployment benefit (WW) recipients has seen a primarily rising trend: from 150 thousand in September 2008 to over 400 thousand on 31 December 2014. The number started falling again in 2015 and stood at more than 350 thousand at the end of September 2016.

The retirement age for the AOW state pension has been raised gradually since 2013. It was increased by three months in 2016 and by one month in each preceding year. The effects are evident from falling numbers of state pension claimants at the beginning of each reporting year. Nevertheless, the number of people receiving AOW benefits continues to rise, slightly more among men than among women.

The Occupational Disability Insurance Act (WAO) was replaced by the Work and Income according to Labour Capacity Act (WIA) with effect from 2005, but continues to exist for people who are already receiving a disability benefit or, within five years after termination of the benefit, become disabled again for the same reason. The number of people on disability benefits has therefore fallen dramatically, whereas the number of people on benefits under the Work Resumption Scheme for Partially Disabled (WGA) or Income Provisions for Completely Disabled (IVA), both part of WIA, has increased.


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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure (but not definite)
2016-2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 Average for 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2014/’15-2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2014/’15 to 2016/’17 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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