Professional mobility remains high

Work & training
Professional mobility remains high


Between 2022 and 2023, 94.5% of employed people remained in work, 1.6% became unemployed and 4.0% became inactive. Employed people who remain in work, do not all stay in the same job: about 340,000 of them changed jobs, or 7.2% of those who worked at both moments. Further, 43.5% of the unemployed remained unemployed, 29.5% found a job and 27.0% became inactive (i.e. not available for work and/or not actively looking for work). Among inactive people, 86.2% remained inactive, 9.8% found work and 4.0% became unemployed. This is what emerges from the last figures of Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, on individual changes in the labour market status in 2023 compared to a year earlier.

In this press release, the focus is on transitions on the labour market between 2022 and 2023 in a population of working age (15-64 years). The longitudinal nature of the Labour Force Survey makes it possible to measure the dynamics on the labour market. For example, is someone who is employed at a given time still employed a year later, or has this person become unemployed or inactive?

Working and changing jobs

The transition rate of employed people remains more or less the same than last year. Among the 4.9 millions employed people then, about 4.6 millions people remain in work, 76,000 became unemployed and 195,000 became inactive.

Employed people who remain in work, do not all stay in the same job: about 340,000 of them changed jobs. This is 7.2% of those who worked at both moments. This change can either be in the same or in an other enterprise, or by starting a business. This rate is slightly lower than last year (then 8.2%), but clearly not back yet to the low 5 to 6% rate registered before the Covid pandemic. The professional mobility decreases in different groups, among others in all levels of education and both men and women. ,The professional mobility of people people continued to rise slightly only in Brussels, among people over 55 and among part-time employed people. Although the rate of people changing jobs decreases, the rate of people staying in the same sector increases. People change then less jobs, but if they do, the probability that they remain in the same sector is higher than a year earlier.


The most volatile group is unemployed people. However, we observe that the rate of people remaining unemployed peaks: there are more people who remained unemployed last year (43.5%) than in the previous years. This is also a large group in absolute figures: almost 130,000 jobseekers in 2022 are still looking for work in 2023 and are available to start working. 29.5% of them are in work a year later and 27.0% are inactive.


86.2% of the inactive (15-64 years) remained inactive. 9.8% of them are working and 4.0% are unemployed a year later. Among the 2.2 millions inactive in 2022, there are then still 1.9 million inactive in 2023, including a large group of students.