Unemployment continues to rise

At the end of December 2012 there were 210,027 people unemployed in Flanders. This is 7.11% of the working population. Meanwhile, in Brussels 108,000 people are currently unemployed. This is 20.4% of the working population. While the figures for Brussels have remained high but relatively stable, the unemployment rate in Flanders has been going up over the past year.

For example in November unemployment in Flanders was 7.01%, 0.10% lower than in December.

The unemployment figures for December 2012 were 9.4% higher than those for December 2011. However, the fact that temps are now only removed from the monthly figures if they have worked for more than 10 days has served to inflate the figures somewhat.

If the old method of calculating the figures had been used, there would have been 206,931 people unemployed in December 2012, compared with 191,987 Flemings unemployed in December 2011, a rise of 7.8%.

The economic slowdown is clearly reflected by the figures. Unemployment amongst men has seen an especially sharp rise of 14.4%. The rise in male unemployment has been fuelled by job losses in manufacturing industry.

The branches of industry that employ more women such as service industries seem to be weathering the economic storm much better.

More than a fifth unemployed in Brussels

108,000 people were unemployed in the 19 municipalities that make up the Greater Brussels Region at the end of 2012. This is 1,700 more than at the end of 2011. However, as the capital's working population is also growing, the percentage of people in Brussels that are unemployed has remained stable at 20.4%.