April was the first full month in which the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus were in force. Many branches of the Belgian economy had (a least in part) shut down, leave their employees in the system of temporary unemployment either partially or fully.
During March almst 1 in 4 people in Belgium had worked less than what they otherwise would have done. However, the lockdown only started midway through the month.
Despte the fact that those that fall under the system of temporary unemployment are considered as still working the employment rate for those between 20 and 64 fell from 70.6% to 70%. The employment rate shows the percentage of Belgians of working age that are in employment.
All the figures listed above come from Statbel’s Labour Survey. The aim of the survey is to chart the impact on the corona crisis on the labour market. During the corona crisis the survey that is normally only quarterly or annual is being published monthly.