Belgian workers change jobs more often post-pandemic

Belgian workers change jobs more often post-pandemic
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With the Covid-19 crisis seemingly on its way out in Belgium, more people are changing jobs than in the years before the pandemic, new figures by the Belgian office for statistics Statbel reveal.

Before the pandemic started in March 2020, one in 20 workers (5.3%) changed jobs each year; now, this number has increased to one in 13 (7.4%), according to latest figures.

"Age is the most important factor determining whether someone changes jobs," Ellen Quintelier, Statbel labour market statistician, said in a press release, adding that it is mainly young people who change jobs.

Among those aged between 15 and 24, nearly one in four employed people changed jobs in 2021, compared to just over one in ten 25-34-year-olds. This proportion continues to decline with age: the older and longer people have been at their workplace, the less inclined they are to change jobs: among those aged 55 to 64, just 1.7% changed jobs in 2021.

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Statistically, gender has little influence over people changing profession. People living in Flanders, however, change jobs more often than those living in the Brussels-Capital Region or Wallonia. But the rate is increasing at a similar rate across the country.

After a person's age, the sector in which they work often determines the likelihood of them remaining in that line of work. For instance, those working in construction or healthcare are less likely to move to a different sector.

This is due to job specialisation in those sectors: construction workers or nurses would have more difficulties finding employment in another sector than someone with an administrative profile, Quintelier explained.

"The hospitality and culture sectors, in particular, see considerable job-to-job transitions. Due to Covid-19, there are even more changes in these sectors." About half of the people who change jobs continue to work in the same sector.

The effect of the pandemic

Before the pandemic (between 2017 and 2020), most job-to-job transitions took place in the hospitality industry (11%), the culture sector (9.3%) and telecommunications (8.6%).

In 2021, those working in the culture sector changed jobs even more often (+3.7% on 2020), alongside those in education (+2.9%), retail and repair of motor vehicles (+2.6%), and the hospitality industry (+2.5%).

In other sectors, there is no recorded increase in workers changing jobs.

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