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    Belgium’s engine of full employment operates at full speed

    In the space of a year, 52,000 new jobs have been created in Belgium – 47,000 in the private sector with the balance remaining in the public sector. During the first quarter of 2018, Belgium thus had 2.31 million full-time jobs in the private sector. L’Écho is reporting on Tuesday that this is a record, on the basis of figures released from the National Social Security Office (“ONSS”).

    The ONSS statistics indicate that nearly six out of ten new jobs are full time. Consequently, the 2.31 million Full-time Equivalents (FTEs) in reality equates to 2.9 million workers.

    From the lowest level during the economic crisis in 2010, the private sector has created 232,000 full-time jobs.

    The upturn is attributable to economic growth but also, in the government’s view, to the tax shift marked in particular by the decrease in employers’ social security contributions.

    However, Eurostat says that the increase in employment in Belgium is lower than the majority of other European countries. For example, the Netherlands has proportionately created twice the number of jobs that Belgium has succeeded in doing during the same period.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times