VBO fears sharp rise in unemployment

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The employers’ federation VBO says 70,000 may lose their jobs according to the IMF’s 0.2 percent growth prediction for next year.

17 October 2008

BRUSSELS -- The employers' federation VBO says that as many as 70,000 jobs could be lost if the IMF's predictions of 0.2 percent growth in 2009 are realised.

In an article in the daily Het Laatste Nieuws, the organisation expresses its fears that unemployment is set to rise sharply.

The VBO's spokesman Geert Van Cronenburg told the paper: "The only official figures on unemployment by the end of 2009 that have been published up to now come from the IMF and they predict 0.2 percent growth."

"According to the IMF, this equates to 70,000 more people unemployed in 2009."

However, Van Cronenburg maintains that the IMF's predictions aren't set in stone as they were made under the presumption that current economic policy remains unchanged.

Meanwhile, analysts at the banking and insurance group KBC predict that unemployment will go up by 45,000 during the coming year.

VDAB says it hasn’t noticed any increase
Despite all predictions of gloom and doom and a recent spate of redundancies, the Flemish Employment and Vocation Training Service (VDAB) says there is no indication that unemployment is rising.

The number of unfilled vacancies at the end of September was still high at around 40,000.

Nevertheless, the number of new vacancies fell by 2.4 percent during September.

[flandersnews.be / Expatica]

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