About 98,000 workers in Brussels, representing about 30.1% of the region’s wage earners, have applied for temporary unemployment, according to figures from the National Employment Office (ONEM) relayed on Sunday by Brussels Labour Minister Bernard Clerfayt.
The three hardest hit sectors are administrative and support services (33,000 workers), the hospitality sector (18,000 workers) and trade (14,000 workers).
Since the start of the crisis spawned by the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, many employers have scaled down or closed their operations. As a result, droves of employees have filed for temporary employment.
According to the latest figures, 14,078 Brussels companies have sent 182,950 employees on temporary unemployment. This figure includes the 98,000 workers in Brussels while the remainder are from Flanders and Wallonia.
“Employers affected by the emergency measures resort, in the first place, to temporary unemployment,”Clerfayt said.
“This shows that businesses want to return as fast as possible to an activity level comparable to the situation before the crisis and have their employees back on the job.”
However, many sectors continue to operate fully and are looking for workers. These include the food, transport and logistics, distribution and healthcare sectors.
A web page showing all job offers has been launched by the Brussels regional employment service, Actiris.
It now has 398 job advertisements, including some received from the Flemish and Walloon regional employment agencies, VDAB and Forem.