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The Belgian economy grew by +1% during the fourth quarter of 2013, but this failed to translate into improvement in the labour market, according to the latest figures from Federgon. In the fourth quarter there was a slight decrease in employment; with further increases in unemployment likely up until the middle of 2014.
For the second consecutive quarter, temporary staffing levels remained relatively on par with the same period the year before. However, the general trend disguises significant differences between the two temporary employment strands in the number of hours worked, with blue collar workers rising by +1.3%, while white collar workers fell by -3.2% during the quarter compared with last year.
The number of hours worked by temporary workers fell in Brussels fell by -4% during Q4 compared with a year ago. White collar hours worked fell by -4.1% compared with a -3.5% drop in blue collar hours worked. Flanders was the only region to report an overall increase in the number of hours worked by +0.15%; despite reporting a +2.4% increase in blue collar workers and a -3.2% decrease in white collar hours worked. Wallonia reported year-on-year decrease of -1.5%, with a -1.2% drop in blue collar worker hours and a -2.2% fall in white collar hours worked.
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