The ‘SME Employment Index’ study carried out by HR provider SD Worx revealed on Monday that structural employment in SMEs in Belgium increased by 0.3% in the second quarter of this year, and 0.7% over 2015 to date. Although in the last four quarters only Flanders was able to boast a rise (+1.6%), all three regions recorded an increase in the second quarter: 0.4% for Flanders, 0.2% for Wallonia and 0.1% for Brussels.
SD Worx highlights that although the secondary sector (industry) showed good results in Flanders during the second quarter, there was little movement in the tertiary and quaternary sectors, Flemish SMEs employing a majority of factory workers (+1.9%) and full-time positions (+0.18%).
In the south of the country, the rise is mainly credited to huge growth in the quaternary sector (+1.94), the secondary sector recording a drop of 0.5%, making it clear that the increase is mainly the result of an increase in part-time contracts.
In the capital, the 0.5% increase recorded by the secondary sector, says SD Worx, must be regarded in the context of a tertiary-heavy region. Employment in the tertiary sector increased slightly but fell slightly in the quaternary sector, the one balancing out the other. Part-time jobs made up the majority of the new employment offer.
SD Worx also points out that the average age of employees in SMEs is higher than it was 12 months ago; the number of employees over the age of fifty increased by 5.82%, a trend common to all three regions.