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    Fewer people received unemployment benefits this year

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The number of jobseekers in Belgium receiving unemployment benefits in November was 332,667, a decrease of 20,856 units or 5.9% over November 2017, according to statistics published on Friday by the National Employment Office, ONEM. Full unemployment decreased faster among women than among men in the same period. For women it went down by 9,909 units or 6.2%, while the drop for men was 10,947 units or 5.6%.

    Full unemployment among young people under the age of 25 went down by 12.3% (3,661 units) as against 7.2% (14,392 units) for the 25-49 age group, and 11.7% (10,895 units) for unemployed jobseekers in the 50-59 age group.

    On the other hand, the number of jobless persons aged 60 to 65 went up by 27.6% (8,092 units).

    “However, the rule change increasing the age for obtaining an exemption from having to register as a jobseeker needs to be taken into consideration,” ONEM said. “In 2018, the minimum age for obtaining the exemption was raised from 62 to 63 years.”

    The number of fully unemployed jobseekers decreased in all regions compared to November 2017. It went down by 6.2% (8,950 units) in Wallonia, by 7.8% (11,304) in Flanders and by 1% (602 units) in Brussels-Capital Region.

    In November last, 134,267 fully unemployed jobseekers were registered in the Flemish Region, 135,983 in the Walloon Region and 62,417 in Brussels-Capital Region.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times