Flanders’ unemployment rate at three-year low


The unemployment rate in Flanders is falling among most age groups as well as among those with a migration background to reach 6.1%

60-plussers a dramatic exception

The unemployment rate in Flanders has been steadily decreasing since August of 2015 to reach a new low of just over 6% at the end of 2018. The unemployment rate between men and women is roughly the same.

At the end of last month, 186,807 people were registered as seeking work, a drop of nearly 8% on the same date the year before. The rate fell among all age groups but especially those aged 25 to 50.

While the number of unemployed in that group fell by 10.5% on the year before, the over-50 group fell by only 3%. And the rate among those aged 60 and over rose dramatically, up by 27.7%.

According to labour minister Philippe Muyters, that is because of the rising retirement age. 60-plussers who lose their jobs must now continue to look for work.

Nearly 70% of the registered job-seekers are receiving unemployment benefits. The others are mostly not entitled to benefits or are new graduates, who must wait a year before receiving benefits.

Some 53,660, or 28.7% of the total number of unemployed have a migration background. Still, this group’s unemployment rate is also in freefall, down 7.5% on the previous year.