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16 December 2009
A new survey carried out across the country by the Federation of the Companies of Belgium (FEB) reveals that less than a quarter of the business sectors researched expect to get back to the pre-economic crisis levels of business activity before 2011.
50% of the sectors researched believe that their employment rate will not reach pre-crisis levels before 2013. 25% believe that pre-crisis employment levels will never be reached again.
According to the report, the predicted economic growth rate in the country is 1.1% for the year 2010 and 1.3% for the year 2011. Rudi Thomas of the FEB said "even though our labour market is currently facing serious problems, the unemployment rate in Belgium is with 8.1% in October 2009 lower than the Eurozone (EA16) average of 9.8%."
"The reduced working hours schemes (chomage partiel) practised all across Belgium have definitely something to do with this and our research shows that these schemes will have to be continued if we want to limit the damage to our labour market over the difficult next six months."