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Belgium’s employment recovery among the slowest in Europe

While Belgium’s labour market recovery is gradually improving as the coronavirus pandemic seemingly nears its end amid vaccine rollouts, it remains one of the slowest in Europe, American worldwide employment website Indeed said on Wednesday.

The number of job offers has been gradually increasing since the end of November, when there were 29% fewer job offers than in February 2020.

“Despite a recovery that seems to be underway, Belgium still remains at the bottom of the European league,” Indeed said.

“At the end of April, the number of job postings was ‘only’ 17.5% lower than before [the pandemic].”

After the first week of May, the difference narrowed further to 15.4%.

A study from credit insurer Euler Hermes said that when it comes to public debt levels, Belgium is actually faring a bit better than its European neighbours.

Belgium will not return to its pre-Coronavirus crisis level of public debt until ten years from now in 2031, the study said, but Italy will take 26 years, France 67 years and Spain 89 years.

Belgium’s recovery plan – which it presented to the European Commission at the start of the month – is in the top ten in the European Union when it comes to having a positive climate effect, according to a European study by an environmental think tank and supported by researchers from Solvay University in Brussels.

According to forecasts from Belfius Bank, the overall economy in Belgium could recover by as soon as mid-2022.

In 2021, that recovery will be powered by increased household spending, while a real increase in business investment is only expected in 2022.

The Brussels Times