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Influx of foreigners seek Brussels work

Published on 16/08/2004

16 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Nearly 40 percent of jobseekers in Brussels are foreign, according to statistics released Monday.

The latest figures from the Brussels regional employment office (Orbem) show that in 2003, 11.3 percent were from EU countries and 25.5 percent from
non-EU nations.

The French led the pack of EU citizens seeking work in Brussels, followed by the Italians, Spanish, Greeks and Portuguese.

Turks and Moroccans were the largest non-EU nationalities on the hunt for a Brussels-based job.

In comparison to 2002 figures, the number of unemployed on full benefits has been most marked among the Belgians, up 16.1 percent, and EU nationals, up 10.7 percent.

Non-EU nationals receiving benefits has stayed relatively constant, rising only 0.5 percent.

The figure has even fallen among the Moroccan and Turkish communities as the number of women living off benefits has fallen by 2.7 percent.

But Orbem has urged caution with these figures as they do not take into account the possibility of ethnic discrimination in the workplace.

Even the possession of a Belgian passport cannot help assist some minority groups to find a job. “Becoming a Belgian national is no guarantee against ethnic discrimination,” said the Orbem report.

According to an analysis conducted by Brussels Employment and Economy Minister Benoit Cerexhe, Belgians with a different ethnic origin are often at a disadvantage.

Employers must lead the way in fighting this phenomenon, said Cerexhe, but ruled out any form of positive discrimination.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian News