Brussels sees first significant annual rise in unemployment since Covid-19 crisis

The Brussels Region saw the first significant annual increase in unemployment since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Brussels’ Employment Office (Actiris) said on Thursday.

The Region had 90,927 job seekers at the end of August, an increase of 1,865 people compared to last year (+2.1%), according to the latest data from Actiris.

Young people are paying the price for the crisis, according to the employment office. “They were the first to be impacted, as early as April,” Actiris said.

This age group – people under 25 – is still recording the strongest monthly increase, with 18.8% more job seekers than in July. In total, 9,666 people are registered.

In terms of the working population as a whole, the unemployment rate in the Region was 16% at the end of August, compared to 15.8% a year ago.

With an increase of 3,299 job seekers since July (+3.8%), classic unemployment is still growing in a “limited” way due to the temporary unemployment allowed during the crisis.

“The use of temporary unemployment allows companies to avoid having to carry out mass redundancies,” Actiris noted. “In order to benefit from temporary unemployment, workers do not have to register as job seekers with the public employment services,” they said.

The number of job vacancies received by Actiris is gradually returning to its normal level. It was 2.5% lower in August than in the same month in 2019 (with 2,482 vacancies). At the height of the crisis, the decrease on an annual basis reached 44.3% in April and was still 5.5% in July.

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As for the rest of the country, at the end of August, there were 222,481 job seekers in Wallonia, an increase of 3.6% compared to August 2019 and 1.4% compared to July, according to Forem figures. In Flanders, 213,294 people were registered as job seekers at the end of August, 8.6% more than a year earlier.

The Brussels Times

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