Share article:
Share article:

IT, farming saw biggest job growth during pandemic

© Unsplash

Although there were few positive aspects to the pandemic in 2020, it did coincide with jobs growth in IT, farming and the liberal professions, according to the latest coronavirus dashboard produced by business consultants Acerta.

The number of jobs in IT in 2020 rose by 4.2%, according to Acerta’s survey of 27,000 companies. That came slightly ahead of agriculture and horticulture (+4.1%) and the liberal professions (doctors, lawyers, accountants) where numbers were up by 2.4%

Jobs in the sector ‘storage and transport’ (+2.2%) and construction (+1.5%) completed the top five.

Related News


The coronavirus year was a difficult year for many companies,” said Liesbet Coninx, managing director of payroll services at Acerta.

Yet there are also sectors that have made additional recruitments in 2020. The IT sector, for example. Many companies have expanded (or even launched) their digital channels, giving that sector a boost. The agricultural and horticultural sector also experienced a growth in the workforce, but this mainly concerns temporary employment contracts.”

The increase, she said, is probably due to measures the government took to limit the pandemic’s effects on food production, including allowing those on benefits to work a certain number of days in food production without loss of benefits – in many cases a crucial move to replace seasonal migrant workers blocked from coming to Belgium by travel restrictions.

Not surprisingly, the two sectors where jobs suffered the worst were food and drink service (-16.4%) and the cultural sector (-11.7%).

Both industries had to suffer long lockdowns, in most cases that are still going on, and while temporary unemployment offers some solace in some cases, the two industries also employ a lot of casual labour for whom the alternatives were limited.

It is absolutely no surprise that the corona pandemic has had the biggest impact on the hospitality industry,” said Coninx. The regional differences are not great, she said, with one exception.

What we do see is that the percentage decrease is greatest in West Flanders. That is not entirely illogical, because the catering industry on the Belgian coast is more dependent on seasonal flexible labour, which fell sharply due to the coronavirus.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More than 1,300 Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals
More than 1,300 people are in hospital as a result of coronavirus infections, as the number of new cases continues to rise in Belgium. Between ...
Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...