The Dutch unemployment rate in March fell by 7,000 to a total of 684,000 people, was announced by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Thursday. The unemployment rate in the Netherlands was 8.7 percent of the labor force in March, compared to 8.8 percent in February. With the decline a period of three months with increases was ended. Over a longer period the upward trend of unemployment was not finished. On average there was an increase of five thousand people per month in the first quarter of this year. The current decrease was caused by people withdrawing from the labor market, and not because more people got to work. The number of people in paid employment declined in March. The rise in unemployment in the first quarter was almost entirely attributable to women aged 25 years and older. On average six thousand unemployed women in this age group were added per month. This is due to the relatively large loss of jobs in health care and trade late last year, with many women working in these sectors. Since the CBS started measuring unemployment in the 80s the amount of 694,000 jobless people of July 2013 is a record. However, that rate of 8.7 is not a record. In 1983-1984 the percentage was over 10 percent, but the labor force was much smaller at that time.