Unemployment in Flanders at 20-year-low

According to figures released by the Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) 5.9% of the Flemish labour force is currently unemployed and looking for work. The figures for January 2020 are 4.4% down on those recorded at the end of January 2019. The fall was especially pronounced among the 55 to 60 age demographic. There are currently a fifth few 55 to 60 year olds that are unemployed and looking for work than was the case a year ago. However, unemployment among the over 60’s continues to rise.   

At the end of January 2020 there were 184,003 unemployed job-seekers, down from  192,445 a year ago. The figures for January 2020 constitute a 20-year low.  

The unemployment figures don’t include those that are “inactive”, but are not seeking work. Nevertheless, the figures are encouraging to a Flemish Government that hopes to get an extra 120,000 people (back) to work during the current legislature.  

Two age demographics stand out in the figures. The number of 55 to 60 year-olds that are unemployed and seeking work is down by 20%. Meanwhile, there was an 18% rise in the number of those that are over 60, unemployed and seeking work.    

The Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits says that she is pleased that the number of people that having been unemployed for between 1 and 2 years is have fallen sharply. Nevertheless, she believes that improvement is still needed among the group that has been out of work for even longer.   

The number of people that has been unemployed for more than 10 years continues to grow (+10% compared with this time last year).

There was also no fall in the number of people with foreign roots that are unemployed.

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