2021 saw a 3.7% drop in job demand in Wallonia compared to the previous year, according to a report by Forem, the Walloon office for professional training and employment.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Walloon labour market benefited from a recovery in economic activity, Belga News Agency reports.
The decrease in job seekers is explained by the increase in job opportunities advertised by Forem (+25% compared to 2020). In December, the number of job seekers fell by 6.9%, while the number of job offers rose by 63% compared to December 2020.
On average in 2021, Wallonia counted 201,426 unemployed jobseekers (IJS) – 3.7% lower than in 2020 (-7,837) and 0.9% lower than in 2019, before the pandemic.
New entrants to labour market have lowest employment
Unemployed jobseekers represent 12.6% of the active Walloon population. This average jobseeker rate was 13.1% in 2020 and 12.7% in 2019.
One year on, declines have been most marked among the most recent entrants to the labour market. On the other hand, more people have been unemployed for one to five years than a year ago.
In terms of age, the Forem notes a more marked fall among the youngest.
For the whole of 2021, nearly 440,000 job offers were published by the Forem (excluding offers from other public employment services). That is 25% more than in 2020, when the crisis temporarily froze recruitment intentions. Labour needs are on the rise in all sectors, from manufacturing to commerce, including health and hospitality.