The rate of structural employment within SMEs increased by 1.86% in 2016. It is the most significant increase since 2011. This is per the SME Employment Index of the HR service provider SD Worx.
In 2011, structural employment in SMEs increased by 2.11% but subsequent years were marked by economic crisis with a decline in employment within SMEs in 2012 (-0.67%) and 2013 (a decline of 0.75%). There were slightly hesitant growth figures in 2014 (+0.79%) and 2015 (an increase 1.05%). In 2006 and 2007, strong growth of more than 3% occurred.
SD Worx stresses, “These figures do not seem particularly spectacular compared to 2006 to 2007, but at 114.2 points, the Employment Index reached its highest level in 2016. Compared to the beginning of 2006, in 2016 14.2 more people were working in firms with 100 employees or less.”
The rate of structural employment in SMEs increased in all three regions of the country in 2016, the increase being the greatest in Flanders (an increase of 2.5%). Wallonia recorded an increase of 1.3% and Brussels of 0.3%.
Moreover, SD Worx analysed the development of the profile for those working within an SME. “Compared to 2008, those working in SMEs are, on average, two years older (41.2 compared to 43.2 years). Women are particularly responsible for this increase, with their average age increasing by 2.6 years, going from 40.3 to 42.9 years.”
It emphasises, “The percentage of women in SMEs has also climbed. In 2008, 39.2% of those working within SMEs were women, whilst this figure had gone up to 43.52% in the 2016 analysis.”
The Brussels Times