Big rise in unemployment during May

Unemployment in Belgium rose to 359,538 in May. This is 50,959 more than the number of people that were claiming unemployment benefit at the end of May last year or a year on year increase of 16.5%. This is the first rise in the jobless total since July 2016.  

The largest rise was among young people under the age of 25 (+27.9%). However, there was also a rise of 20.8% in the number of 25 to 49 year-olds that are unemployment and claiming unemployment benefit.

The year on year increase was greatest in Flanders (22.1%), followed by Wallonia (+13.9%) and then Brussels (10.6%).

In May 2020 there were 148,793 people unemployed and claiming unemployment benefit in Flanders, 144,380 in Wallonia and 66,365 in the Brussels-Capital Region.