Belgium had 630,806 unemployed in 2014, compared to 171,600 in 1954. It thus emerges from a historical overview prepared by l’Office national de l’Emploi (ONEM – which pays unemployment insurance and related benefits and offers linked advice services). Le Soir has published ONEM’s conclusions today (Tuesday). The figures thus show an increase of 267%.
Basing the study upon the active population, unemployment affected 1.2% of Belgians in 1954, compared to 8.7% sixty years later. The study notes that the main casualties of this explosion are the over 50s and those living in Brussels.
Three key moments are emphasized so as to better understand this particular development: the 1974 oil crisis, the 1980s uncoupling of Brussels and the 2008 financial crisis.