Immigrants have hard time on labour market

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Belgium scored considerably worse than the other countries in new OECD study.

18 November 2008

The OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, compared the labour markets and immigrants in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Portugal.

Belgium scored considerably worse than the other countries. Unemployment among the group of inhabitants of a foreign origin studied is 2.5 times higher than among other Belgians. Especially people outside the European Union and women of foreign origin have a hard time finding a job.

According to the OECD study a 20 year-old of foreign origin has 21% less chance of getting a job than a Belgian of the same age. In Portugal that person has a 17% less chance. In France the gap narrows to 10% and in the Netherlands the youngster of foreign origin has an 8% less chance of getting a job.

Part of the problem is the education system which tends to quickly filter people of foreign origin into less-demanding studies. 4 out of 10 youngsters of foreign origin have a low level of education here in Belgium, compared to 1 in 10 of the Belgian youngsters. Many of the unskilled youngsters have to get extra training by the employment office or an employer. According to the OECD, Belgium should tackle this problem - especially in the Walloon and Brussels regions.

Another problem in Belgium is that there is little difference between the lowest wages and highest level of unemployment benefit. Motivation can thus be a problem.

Discrimination is also a stumbling block - in companies but also in private homes. Half of the domestic help jobs in Brussels go to immigrant women; in Flanders only 5% take an immigrant for domestic work.

( 2008)

3 Comments To This Article

  • Mukund zambre posted:

    on 23rd November 2008, 04:26:45 - Reply

    I think both patrick and henry are wrong. It is discrimination against skin color. I have two diplomas from flemish universitities but no one hired me so far although I speak Dutch and English and yet have the belgian nationality.
  • Abdul posted:

    on 19th November 2008, 16:20:26 - Reply

    Mr Patrick Henry

    Who do you think you are? We as Muslims were given the gift from Allah that we are better than all of you infidels!!! Do you understand me? We have come to spread our message and take over. All of you little weak people can do nothing. Your governments can do nothing. Nothing I say!!! We will out breed you and control the world in no time.

    And now that we have one of our own in the White House hahahahaha-hahahahah. Thank Allah for all of the liberal sheep in the USA
  • Patrick Henry posted:

    on 19th November 2008, 08:01:48 - Reply

    Reaction removed as offensive