Flemish job rate: 68%
The job rate in the Flemish Region in 2019 is estimated at 68%. The job rate compares total employment (of wage earners and self-employed persons) in a country or region with the total population aged 15 to 64 in that country or region.
The Flemish job rate was on the increase in from 2003 to 2008, which were years of good economic activity. From 2009 to 2013, the job rate stabilised. From 2014 onwards, the job rate significantly increased year on year.
Commuter movements have a powerful impact on the job rate of the regions
Commuting between the different regions has an impact on the job rate. Within Belgium, the job rate is highest in the Brussels-Capital Region because of the large number of jobs available in the capital region (which can be explained by many public institutions and companies having their headquarters in Brussels). However, when the activity of Flemish commuters is added to that of the Flemish Region, the Flemish job rate increases from 68% to 71.6%. The Walloon job rate also increases in this case, while the Brussels job rate shrinks significantly (to 53.3%).
Flemish job rate is low by European standards
At 72.7% in 2019, the average job rate in the European Union (EU) is higher than in the Flemish Region. Most EU Member States have a higher job rate, even when the employment of commuters is included in the Flemish job rate. This is because Flemish companies traditionally use capital-intensive production methods in order to control the relatively high labour costs.
Luxembourg has a very high job rate, owing to the large number of jobs available in the financial sector and to the presence of various European institutions. The Netherlands and Germany also have a high job rate, although it should be noted that some of these jobs are also part-time and/or lower paid or require more flexibility. The job rate is lowest in a number of southern and eastern European countries.