Big increase in the number of foreign nationals working in Belgium

Currently, one in seven people that are employed in Belgium are foreign nationals. According to figures from the HR consultancy Acerta. The number of foreign nationals working here has risen by 13% over the past 5 years. In Brussels the percentage of foreign nationals employed is far higher with more than a quarter of those working in the capital not having Belgian citizenship. 

27.4% of people employed in jobs in the Brussels-Capital Region are foreign nationals.

Kathelijne Verboomen of Acerta’s research centre told the Brussels regional news platform Bruzz that “On the one hand companies are spreading the net wider when they recruit and on the other there are more non-Belgians in Brussels looking for work”.   

Acerta looked at statistics from 40,000 private sector employers both small and large. In June of this year nationwide 14.1% of those employed were foriegn nationals, up from 12.4% in June 2014.    

The figure for white collar workers is 10%. However, it is double this among blue collar workers.  

Among EU citizens Dutch, Romanian, Polish and Bulgarian nationals make up the top 5 best-represented nationalities. Meanwhile, Moroccan, Turkish, Congolese, Russian and Indian nationals for the top 5 best represented nationalities from outside the EU.          

Despite, the close proximity of France with the Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing conurbation, West Flanders has surprisingly few foreign nationals among its workforce. Just 10.6% of those working in West Flanders are not Belgian citizens.   

Earlier this year Acerta published a study based that showed that 1 in 10 self-employed people in Belgium is a foreign national.   

Top stories