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Brussels unemployment up for the first time in five years

Credit: Belga

Unemployment is rising again in Brussels after 65 consecutive months of decline, Brussels unemployment office Actiris announced on Tuesday.

At the end of April, Brussels had 87,271 job seekers, for an unemployment rate of 15.5%. This represents a slight increase of 0.4% or 340 people compared to April 2019, Actiris said in a press release.

Nearly 10% of the unemployed in Brussels are young job seekers. With 8,418 people under 25 looking for work, Brussels has a youth unemployment rate of 23%. That’s 354 more young job seekers than a year ago and represents an increase of 4.4%.

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The coronavirus crisis is also being felt in job offers. Actiris received 1,677 job vacancies in April, a decrease of 44.3% compared to April 2019, nearly double the drop when compared to 24.1% fewer job offers year-on-year in the second half of March, when Belgium’s lockdown went into effect.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times