Number of people laid off up for the first time since the euro crisis

For the first time since the 2012-2013 euro crisis the number of people that have been laid off work temporarily in Belgium has risen. That’s accord to figures from the Federal Employment Service RVA. In Belgium companies that for one reason or another don’t have enough work for (some of) their employees can lay them off temporarily. Those that have been laid off are then classed as being “Economic unemployed”, temporarily unemployed due to a lack of work at their place of employment.


For many years now the number of people classed as being Economic unemployed has been falling. However, during the final quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year the total number of days for which benefits were paid out to those that had been laid off temporarily rose slightly. At 8.8% the rise during the second quarter was more pronounced. 

Although the total number of days rose significantly during the second quarter of this year, at 866,163 it is still at its lowest level but one si

An economic indicator

The Federation of Belgian Industry’s Chief Economist Edward Roosens told VRT News that “The rise in economic unemployment is a good indicator of a possible turn around in the labour market. Economic unemployment and employment agency work are always the first to be effected when the labour market starts to become less buoyant”.

"Growth has been slowing down for some time, in Germany it has almost come to a halt and this of course has an impact on economic activity in Belgium. So there are a number of company that are confronted with a lack of work and economic unemployment is always one of the first things that is used in order to address this”, Mr Roosens added.


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