Expatica news

Still too few Belgians working

8 May 2007

BRUSSELS –  The evolution of the Flemish employment rate, the percentage of working persons between the ages of 15 and 64, is lagging behind the European average.

Wallonia and Brussels come in last in Europe, according to new figures from the office for employment and social economy at the Catholic University of Louvain.

“Belgium will not meet the Lisbon objective of 70 percent employment rate by 2010, nor will Flanders,” the study found.

Federal Minister for Employment Peter Vanvelthoven (Socialist SP.A) does not see this as cause for alarm.

“We have known for some time that we would not achieve that target. That target is a European average after all, not a standard for every individual country,” says a spokesperson for the minister.

Moreover the figures from the Committee on Ageing showed that social security and pensions will not come under pressure until 2030. “So it isn’t a disaster if we don’t meet the Lisbon objective.”

Vanvelthoven says the positive developments in this area are more important. “Unemployment in Flanders has decreased steadily, Wallonia is going in the right direction, and even Brussels is climbing out of the hole slowly, though they still have a long way to go.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news