Monthly figures on the labour market

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Datalab: 39 % of people employed worked from home in November

DataLab
Datalab: 39 % of people employed worked from home in November

Monthly figures on the labour market – November 2020

With this series of fast indicative figures, Statbel wants to map the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the labour market. The main conclusions for November, a period when Belgium went again into lockdown, are the following:

  • the employment rate of people aged 20-64 decreases sharply;
  • the unemployment rate of people aged 15-64 remains quite high, above 6 %;
  • 27.5 % of people with a job worked less than usual, or not at all. This is a sharp increase compared to October;
  • 39 % of persons employed sometimes, usually or always worked from home.

You will find more details here below.

Sharp decrease in employment rate of people aged 20-64

After two months of increase, the provisional figures for November show a sharp decline in the employment rate of people aged 20-64. The employment rate of people aged 20-64 in November is estimated at 68.3 %, the lowest level since the beginning of the health crisis (chart 1). The decrease in the employment rate is slightly stronger for women (-2.8 percentage points) than for men (-2 percentage points). The decrease in mainly among younger age groups. However, the employment rate of people aged 55 or over still shows a slight increase.
The employment rate has decreased between October and November this year in the three regions, but the sharpest decrease took place in Flanders. The employment rate of people aged 20-64 in November is estimated at 60 % in Brussels, 72.5 % in Flanders and 63.5 % in Wallonia.

ILO unemployment rate amounts to 6.2 % in November

Since July, the ILO unemployment rate[1] of people aged 15-64 is above 6 %. With 6.9 %, the unemployment rate reached in August its highest level since the Coronavirus crisis, before decreasing to 6.2 % in September. After that, the unemployment rate remained quite stable and provisional figures also show an unemployment rate of 6.2 % for November. In November last year, the unemployment rate amounted to 5.1 %.
Between October and November 2020, the unemployment rate only increased in Flanders. In Brussels and Wallonia, Statbel observes a decrease in the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate of people aged 15-64 in November is estimated at 12 % in Brussels, 3.9 % in Flanders and 8.7 % in Wallonia.

Economic activity rate at the same level in April and May

The sharp decrease in the employment rate and the stabilisation of the unemployment rate resulted in a sharp decrease in the economic activity rate, from 69.7 % in October to 67.1 % in November 2020. The economic activity rate or the share of people employed and unemployed in the total population aged 15 to 64 is now at the same level as in April and May 2020, a period where our country was also in lockdown (chart 3).

27.5 % of people employed did not work or worked less than usual November

Just like the first lockdown, the second lockdown had a clear impact on the hours worked. During the first lockdown, a large share of people employed did not work or worked fewer hours than usual. In April, this share was 44.2 % of people employed and 33.4 % in May. Since July, the percentage of people employed who did not work or worked less was at approximately the same level as in the same month the year before, but in November, we observe again a clear impact of the new lockdown (chart 4). In November, 27.5 % of persons employed did not work or worked less than usual during the reference week (i.e. the week for which they were interviewed). This percentage is considerably higher than in October this year (14.2 %) and there is also a big difference compared to November last year (16.4 %).

From those who did not work during the reference week (704,000 persons), holidays are the main reason for not working (201,000 persons). This has to do with the autumn break that took place entirely in November in 2020. The second main reason is illness (165,000 persons), followed by temporary unemployment. In November, about 144,000 persons did not work because of temporary unemployment, compared to 52,000 persons in October. Furthermore, in November, 122,000 persons did not work because of another reason which had to do, according to the respondent, with the coronavirus.

Among the people employed who declared having worked less in the reference week (579,000 persons), holidays are the main reason (386,000 persons). Temporary unemployment ranks second with about 65,000 persons. Furthermore, nearly 61,000 persons worked less than usual because of another reason which had to do, according to the respondent, with the coronavirus.

39 % of people employed worked from home

Just like in the first lockdown, homeworking has again been mandatory since November for all people employed whose job allows. As a result, the percentage of people employed who sometimes or usually works from home increased from 34.9 % in October to 39 % in November (chart 5). This is approximately the same level as in May, when the percentage of homeworkers was the highest. The percentage of women working from home (41.7 %) is clearly higher than the percentage of their male colleagues (36.6 %). Persons whose regular workplace is in Brussels more often work from home (54.8 %) than those working in Flanders (37.4 %) or in Wallonia (33.1 %). Between October and November 2020, the percentage mainly increased among employees in the public sector. Half of them (sometimes, usually or always) worked from home in November. We also notice an increase among employees in the private sector, from 27.8 % to 31.1 %. The percentage of self-employed who sometimes or usually work from home increased from 53.5 % to 56.9 %.
In November, 36.3 % of people working from home indicate that they did it for the first time during the Covid crisis. 46 % of people working from home already did it before, but do it more during the Covid crisis and for 17.6 %, the Covid crisis had no impact on the extent of homeworking.

(b) Break in the results in June 2020. The figures until May 2020 are based on a smaller sample and therefore cannot simply be compared with the figures from June 2020 onwards.

 


[1] The ILO unemployed are all the people who do not have a job, are actively seeking work and are available to start working within two weeks.

Methodologische info

De hier gepresenteerde cijfers zijn resultaten van de Enquête naar de Arbeidskrachten (EAK), dit is een enquête die geharmoniseerd is op Europees niveau. De definities over werkgelegenheid en werkloosheid die worden gehanteerd zijn die van het Internationaal Arbeidsbureau (IAB), waardoor een vergelijkbaarheid van de resultaten op internationaal vlak wordt gewaarborgd. De gehanteerde definities bevinden zich hier: https://statbel.fgov.be/nl/themas/werk-opleiding/arbeidsmarkt/werkgeleg….

Merk op dat tijdelijk werklozen tijdelijk afwezig zijn van hun werk en tot de werkenden worden gerekend.

De enquête naar de arbeidskrachten is een continue enquête, wat wil zeggen dat de steekproef gelijk verdeeld is over de 52 weken van het jaar. De geselecteerde respondenten beantwoorden een vragenlijst die hoofdzakelijk betrekking heeft op hun activiteit in de loop van een gegeven referentieweek. De resultaten op maandbasis kunnen beschouwd worden als het gemiddelde van de maand.

Voor de opmaak van de maandelijkse indicatoren werden de antwoorden van de respondenten voor een bepaalde “maand” (d.i. een set van 4 of 5 opeenvolgende volledige kalender- of referentieweken, bv. maart 2020 bestaat uit referentieweken 10-13) gekalibreerd op basis van volgend model: Prov*Sex*Agecat + Regio*Educat3c waarbij Prov= provincie, Sex= geslacht, Agecat= leeftijdsgroep per 5 jaar, Regio= 3 gewesten, Educat3c= onderwijsniveau (laag, midden, hoog). Hiervoor worden twee frames voor berekening van kalibratietotalen (benchmarks) gebruikt:

Uit het Rijksregister: populatiecijfers op de eerste dag van het kwartaal, volgens de kruising Prov*Sex*Agecat.

Uit EAK: geschatte populatiecijfers volgens de kruising Regio*Educat3c, m.a.w. een geschatte verdeling van het onderwijsniveau per regio; hiervoor baseren we ons op gekalibreerde EAK-steekproeven voor de 4 meest recent beschikbare kwartalen (bv. voor januari-maart 2020 zijn dat de kwartalen 2018T4 t.e.m. 2019T3).

De gepresenteerde cijfers zijn geen effectieve populatiecijfers, maar benaderingen die gebaseerd zijn op de extrapolatie van een toevalssteekproef uit de Belgische bevolking. Bij de interpretatie van de cijfers dient hiermee rekening te worden gehouden. De resultaten die hier gepresenteerd worden zijn indicatieve resultaten op maandbasis en zijn onderhevig aan grotere toevalsschommelingen dan de resultaten op kwartaal- en op jaarbasis omdat ze gebaseerd zijn op een twaalfde van de steekproef op jaarbasis. Voor maart 2020 gaat het om ruim 8600 respondenten. Kleine aantallen en kleine verschuivingen doorheen de tijd dienen dan ook met de nodige omzichtigheid geïnterpreteerd te worden omdat ze gebaseerd zijn op de antwoorden van een beperkt aantal respondenten.

De in dit bestand opgenomen maandelijkse statistieken zijn experimentele statistieken en worden geproduceerd met het specifiek doel tot monitoring van de Coronacrisis. Het is belangrijk voor ogen te houden dat het steeds gaat om voorlopige cijfers, die geproduceerd werden op een eerste versie van de gegevens en waarbij de snelheid primeert op de volledigheid en kwaliteit van de binnengekomen gegevens. De maandelijkse cijfers zullen dit voorlopig karakter behouden tot na de publicatie van de officiële kwartaalresultaten.

Meer info over de enquête naar de arbeidskrachten is te vinden op:

https://statbel.fgov.be/nl/themas/werk-opleiding/arbeidsmarkt/werkgeleg…

https://statbel.fgov.be/sites/default/files/Over_Statbel_FR/Analyse_eak…