Services industry drives record employment
5 April 2006, BRUSSELS — The Belgian employment rate is at highest level ever, with 4.27 million employed and self-employed workers at the end of 2005.
5 April 2006
BRUSSELS — The Belgian employment rate is at highest level ever, with 4.27 million employed and self-employed workers at the end of 2005.
The National Bank (NBB) figures also indicated that there were 600,000 more employed workers in 2005 compared with 1985, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Wednesday.
"There are more Belgians working today than ever before," NBB chief statistician Jean-Jacques Vanhaelen said.
The strong jobs growth in the past 20 years has taken economists by surprise. But the record high is by no means a fluke: Belgian employment rates have increased in the past nine quarters.
Dexia Bank economist Jacques De Pover said the jobs growth is underestimated by the public because large Belgian companies have undergone massive restructuring in recent times.
Belgium has transformed itself in the past 20 years into a services economy as the dependence on manufacturing tapered off. Since 1985, 220,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.
This is contrast to the massive jobs growth in the services industry, where 800,000 jobs have been created in the past 20 years.
The service industry includes financial services for companies and families, plus trade, transport and communication services.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news