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Belgium – Staffing market not out of the woods

30 April 2013

Staffing firms in Belgium have struggled with falling client demand with new research showing that demand for temporary agency workers remained weak in March. According to new data from the Belgian federation of staffing agencies (Federgon), the slowdown in the temporary staffing market has not yet come to an end.

Last month, temporary agency staff worked fewer hours when compared to the same time in 2012. In March, the number of hours put in by temporary workers fell by -9.23%, topping the -6.38% decline seen in the previous month. Blue collar workers were hit most by the downturn, registering an annual drop of nearly -14%.  White collar workers posted a smaller decrease of -2.50%.

Month-on-month, the decline eased as the number of hours worked fell by -1.52%.  Blue collar and white collar employees still posted negative growth rates at -1.80% and -1.17% respectively.

All figures are seasonally adjusted and the Federgon index reached 201.0 points in March, down from 204.1 points in February. The index was set at a base of 100 in January 1995 and shows the level of activity in the temporary staffing industry in Belgium.

Despite the continued decline seen in the Belgian staffing market, moderate GDP growth forecasts are predicted to have a positive, albeit modest, impact on the industry. Staffing Industry Analysts expects the Belgian staffing industry to grow slightly in 2013 after seeing a decline in 2012.

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