ManpowerGroup conducts a poll among Belgian employers every 3 months, composing a so-called "barometer" that reflects employers' future prospects and their confidence in the economy.
After 9 consecutive drops, the barometer finally shows some improvement. Compared to the past trimester, the employers' confidence is up, although it is still below par (-1 compared to -3).
4 percent of the 750 employers taking part in the poll at the end of July, expect to hire new staff before the end of the year. On the other hand, 5 percent fear they will have to dismiss people. A vast majority of 86 percent think their staff numbers will remain the same.
The good news is that ManPower expects the economic situation to improve slightly during the last 3 months of the year. "We have different indications that the worst is behind us", says Philippe Lacroix of ManpowerGroup. "However, the situation remains fragile. Unemployment levels in Belgium reach a 10-year high and are at 8.7 percent."
It's especially in Wallonia (+3) that employers are more confident. Brussels and Flanders (-2) are taking a more negative stand.