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ILO unemployment rate

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ILO unemployment rate in the Flemish Region at 3.3%

In 2023, the in the Flemish Region was 3.3%. This is the proportion of the unemployed people in the aged between 15 and 64. The labour force is the sum of the employed and unemployed people.

In the 1999-2017 period, the unemployment rate hovered around 5%. The unemployment rate was highest in 2003 (5.7%) and lowest in 2022 (3.2%). Between 2022 and 2023, the unemployment rate remained more or less stable (+0.1 percentage points).

Lowest unemployment rate among highly educated and cohabiting partners without children

In 2023, the unemployment rate for men (3.8%) was higher than for women (2.9%). In 2013, there was almost no difference between the unemployment rate of men and women. Between 2013 and 2023, the unemployment rate fell for both men (-1.4 percentage points (ppt)) and women (-2.2 ppt).

The unemployment rate decreases with age. The unemployment rate among 15- to 34-year-olds came to 6.0% in 2023, compared with 2.0% among 35- to 54-year-olds and 2.1% among 55- to 64-year-olds. For all age groups, the unemployment rate decreased between 2013 and 2023.

The unemployment rate also decreases with education level. The unemployment rate among the low educated was 5.7% in 2023, compared with 3.0% among the medium educated and 1.5% among the highly educated. For all education levels, the unemployment rate decreased compared to 2013.

Broken down by household position, the unemployment rate was highest among people living with their parents (9.2%) and lowest among cohabiting partners without children (1.6%). Among singles, the unemployment rate fell the most between 2013 and 2023 (-2.8 ppt).

Among persons who are hindered during their daily activities because of a disability or long-term health problem, the unemployment rate decreased from 10.0% in 2013 to 4.7% in 2023 (-5.3 ppt). Among persons without impairment, the unemployment rate also decreased by 1.4 ppts to 3.2%.

Finally, there are also differences by country of birth. In 2023, the unemployment rate among people born in Belgium was 2.9%, compared to 4.2% in 2013. Among persons born in another European Union country (EU27), the unemployment rate fell from 7.0% in 2013 to 4.2% in 2023. Among persons born outside the European Union, the unemployment rate decreased from 15.8% to 7.1% in 2023.

Flemish unemployment rate far below EU average

In 2023, the unemployment rate in the Flemish Region (3.3%) was much lower than in the Walloon Region (8.2%), in the Brussels-Capital Region (10.7%) and in Belgium as a whole (5.6%).

In the European Union (EU27) the unemployment rate was 6.1% on average. The Flemish Region performed significantly better than the EU27 average. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate (2.6%), followed by Poland (2.9%), Germany and Malta (both 3.2%). The highest unemployment rates were for Spain (12.3%), Greece (11.2%) and Italy and Sweden (both 7.8%).

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