The Brussels Region should count between 17,000 and 25,000 additional job seekers in the first half of 2021, regional Employment Minister Bernard Clerfayt told the Brussels parliament on Thursday based on a recent report by the Brussels Employment and Training Observatory (view.brussels).
Clerfayt and Barbara Trachte, Brussels Secretary of State for Economic Transition, were questioned by the parliament’s special Covid-19 committee for an assessment of the measures taken in terms of employment and support for the economy during the pandemic.
In the event of gradual deconfinement and based on data from view.brussels and the OECD, there would be an increase of about 17,000 job seekers in June 2021.
In case of a prolonged and reinforced lockdown and on the basis of perspective.brussels and OECD data, that number could run up to 25,000.
According to the Minister, this increase can be explained both by the arrival of new job seekers and by the fall in the exit rate from unemployment into work.
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The Federal government is currently managing to contain the impact of the crisis in terms of direct job and business losses, Clerfayt said, notably through the moratorium on bankruptcies but also through temporary unemployment measures of force majeure (an event out of one’s control).
In October, the unemployment rate in Brussels stood at 16%, an increase of 2,426 people (+2.7%) compared to the same month last year. This rate only began to rise from August onwards.
The youth unemployment rate reached 27.9% in October, an annual increase of 7.4%. This significant increase is lower than in previous months. In September, the increase in youth unemployment was 12.8% and in August it even rose to 18.9%.
Young people were also the first to suffer the consequences of the health crisis on the job market since the rate has been rising since May. This is why the measures of the Recovery Plan take into account the profiles of job seekers to be supported, Clerfayt said.
The minister was generally very cautious with regard to the forecasts. "We should not lose sight of the fact that it is only when the measures put in place by the Federal Government come to an end that the real impact of the crisis on employment can be known," he stressed.
The Brussels Times