68.5 % of the people aged 20 to 64 have a job

Work & training
Employment, unemployment, labour market structure

New results of the Labour Force Survey in Belgium

Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, has published the first annual results of the Labour Force Survey for 2017. The main results are the following:

  • 68.5 % of people aged 20 to 64 are employed
  • the unemployment rate amounts to 7.1 %
  • educational attainment plays an important role in the labour market

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) was thoroughly reformed and modernised in 2017, following the model of Eurostat, the European statistical office. The other EU Member States also apply this model.

Various methodological modifications ensure a better quality of the figures. Consequently, in the future, it will be possible to measure short-term evolutions much more precisely. Furthermore, the modifications of the interviewing methods will allow to survey the respondents faster and more efficiently. You will find all the details of this reform in the methodological note attached to this press release. Given that the modifications are diverse and have an impact on the results, this press release only contains the figures for 2017, with no comparison with the previous years.

The employment rate of people aged 20-64 amounts to 68.5 %

In 2017, 63.1 % of the 15-64 year olds were employed. If we only look at the 20-64 age group, this rate amounts to 68.5 %. The objective of the EU-2020 strategy is to have 73.2 % of the people aged 20 to 64 in employment by 2020. In this age group, 73.4 % of men and 63.6 % of women are currently employed. There are major differences between regions: 73 % of the Flemish 20-64 year olds have a job. In Wallonia, this figure stands at 63.2 % and in Brussels at 60.8 %.

The ILO unemployment rate amounts to 7.1 %

The unemployment rate according to the definitions of the International Labour Office amounts to 7.1 % in 2017. The figure for men is not very different from that for women, i.e. 7.2 % for men against 7.1 % for women. Young people (15-24) register the highest unemployment rate (19.3 %). The unemployment rate of the 25-49 year olds and 50-64 year olds amounts to 6.5 % and 5.4 % respectively. Here also, we notice major differences between regions. Flanders registers an unemployment rate of 4.4 %. In Wallonia, this figure amounts to 9.8 % and in Brussels to 15 %.