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Brussels unemployment clocks in at 15 per cent

Unemployment in the Brussels-Capital region rose again in February compared to the previous year. At the end of last month, the Belgian capital counted 90,715 registered jobseekers and an unemployment rate of 15 per cent, the employment agency Actiris reported on Wednesday.

On the one hand, this represents an increase of 2,977 people in one year, or a rise of 3.4 per cent. However, Actiris points out that the increase is due to an increase in the number of registered jobseekers receiving the living wage or its equivalent. For these people, the validity period of their registration has changed. Instead of having to re-register every 3 months, they are automatically registered until the end of their entitlement to the living wage. This automatically increases the total number of jobseekers, says Actiris.

If only the subcategory of jobseekers on unemployment benefits (as opposed to the living wage) is taken into account, the number of jobseekers fell by 3.2 per cent year-on-year to 49,625. The unemployment rate stands at 15 per cent, up from 14.5 per cent 12 months earlier.

Among the under-25s, there are 10,361 inactive jobseekers, 9.2 per cent more than a year earlier. This results in an unemployment rate of 27.6 per cent for this age group. The unemployment rate for Brussels’ under-25s has already risen sharply in recent months. In August last year, Actiris reported that just over 8,000 under-25s were unemployed in Brussels, an increase of 12.8 per cent compared to July last year.

Source: Belga News Agency