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Students in Belgium make up a significant part of the temporary staffing industry but new research by Randstad shows that their presence since the beginning of the summer holidays has decreased sharply. However, in the first half of the year there were +2.3% more students active as temporary agency workers, seeing a +22.5% increase in hours worked.
The first two weeks of July, the beginning of the school holidays, shows a rather different picture. In the period, the number of students working as agency staff dropped sharply by -8.9% while hours worked declined by -15.7%. The fall in student workers is evident across several regions, including the capital Brussels. During the summer months Randstad usually places around 40,000 students in temporary jobs during the summer months.
There are several explanations for this development. One of them is the introduction of a new legislation which allows students to work 50 days a year so they may be more inclined to spread this time over the course of the year, not just in the summer. The weather also has an impact on hiring levels as does the economic uncertainty.
This is quite a significant fall, coming at a time when the Belgian staffing industry is showing a continued slowdown of activity. The Belgian federation of employment agencies Federgon reported this week that temporary employment was still in decline in June. According to the association, there was a total of 378,730 temporary workers – 182,516 of them were students.