Unemployment in Flanders at its lowest level since before the coronavirus crisis

Unemployment in Flanders fell below 6% last month for the first time since March last year. However, the Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) warns that “we need to remain alert” as the true effect of the coronavirus crisis still remains to be seen. The impact is currently being slowed by the state support that is being given to keep companies afloat during the crisis and through the system of temporary unemployment.  

In March there were 183,207 people registered as being unemployed in Flanders. This is 1.6% down on the figures for March 2020 and is the lowest figure since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Flemish Brabant was the only province in our region where last month unemployment was higher than it was in March 2020. To be clear these figures do not include those that are on temporary unemployment.

Unemployment in Flanders currently stands at 5.9%. Last August unemployment in our region peaked at 6.85% with 213,000 Flemings unemployed then.

A cause for concern is the growth in the number of people that have been unemployed for between 1 and 2 years. In March 2021 there were 37,486 people in Flanders that had been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months. This is almost 23% more than as the case a year ago. 

The number of people over 60 that are unemployed has also risen sharply. At over 23,000 the number of people over 60 that are registered as being unemployed is up +7.8% on a year ago.

Unemployment in Brussels up 2.8%

In the Brussels-Capital Region there are now 2,510 (+2.8%) more people unemployed than was the case a year ago. Unemployment in Brussels has risen from 15.7% in March 2020 to 16.2% in March 2021.



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