'Highest level ever': Record 62.2% of Brussels residents have a job

'Highest level ever': Record 62.2% of Brussels residents have a job
Credit: Belga

The number of Brussels residents aged between 20 and 64 who have a job rose to a record high, as 62.2% of the population was employed in 2021, according to the annual balance of the labour market of the Federal Statistical Service Statbel.

The number of Brussels residents with a job increased by 8,700 to a total of roughly 479,000 last year, a growth of 1.9%. The employment rate rose by 0.9 percentage points to 62.2%.

"This is a record: never before have so many Brussels residents had a job. The employment rate rises again after levelling off between 2019 and 2020. The number reaches its highest level ever," said Actiris in a press release.

In Wallonia, 65.2% of people are employed, compared to 75.3% in Flanders, according to Statbel. For Belgium as a whole, the employment rate stands at 70.6%.

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The unemployment rate for those aged between 15 and 64 in Brussels remained stable at 12.5%. In 2016, it was still 16.9%.

"Almost 500,000 Brussels citizens have a job today," said Brussels Employment Minister Bernard Clerfayt. "I am particularly happy about that. But it should not be a reason to forget the 'war for talent' that is raging on our labour market."

Employers are looking for educated people, often highly skilled profiles, according to Clerfayt. "The solution lies in training. We need to raise the skills of Brussels job seekers to a higher level to continue this rise in employment."

Commuting to Brussels

Additionally, the number of commuters in Brussels is also on the rise again, according to Statbel's analysis: a total of 259,000 Flemish people (+10.9%) and 144,000 Walloons (+6.6%) work in Brussels. Commuters again account for just over half of the jobs in the Capital Region.

In total, there are 795,647 jobs in the region, over 40,000 more than one year earlier.

Meanwhile, more Brussels residents found a job abroad: 10,000 Brussels residents work outside Belgium, an increase of 17.8% (+1,509 people). "This evolution may also be explained by the widespread working from home that has become commonplace since the coronavirus pandemic."

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