Labour market : The salaried employment rate continues to fall 2013-07-10

The salaried employment also continues to shrink during the first quarter of 2013 to such an extent that one may speak, as far as employment goes, about a double-dip scenario : after the very sharp decline in the employment rate during 2009, which was followed by a recovery in the period 2010-2011, there is once again a new contraction of employment. Measured both in terms of the number of jobs on March 31st 2013 (-0.9%) and in terms of the work volume expressed in full-time equivalents (-1.2%), a drop in the salaried employment rate can be observed, if it is compared to the first quarter of 2012.

Compared to the period 2008-2009, the contraction of the employment rate manifests itself less in temporary measures (mainly economic unemployment), so that the drop in employment is practically equally high in job numbers and in work volume (cf. figure 1). In relation to the period 2008-2009, the shrinkage of employment is also less concentrated in industry, as employment conditions are in a larger number of economic branches (construction industry, trade, catering, public administration, …)  under severe pressure, due to the impact of the drop in private consumption and the fall in government spending.

The employment in "Industry and Construction" declines at an accelerating pace. During the first quarter of 2013, industry already suffered a drop in employment amounting to – 2.3%, compared to the first quarter of 2012. The contraction of the work volume even adds up to
– 4.7%, even though this decrease would have probably been limited to more or less – 3%, if one does not take into account the exceptionally high number of days of work stoppage due to the bad weather during the first quarter of 2013.

In the "Commercial services" sector, there is a decrease measured both in terms of jobs
(- 1.0%) and work volume expressed in full-time equivalents (- 0.6%), principally in the branches of trade, transport, catering and financial services.  

In the "Non-commercial services" sector, a growth in terms of jobs (+ 0.3%) and work volume (+ 0.9%) compared to the preceding year is still registered.

However the pace of growth has lost much ground in relation to the past years because of a negative evolution of employment in the public administration sector, a stagnation in the education sector and a shrinking pace of growth in health care and social services.    

The reduced demand for manpower also brings about a drop in the employment rate of temp workers. In the first quarter of 2013 the temping sector is confronted with a fall in work volume by approximately 8.5% compared to the first quarter of 2012 (-11% for the blue-collar and -4% for the white-collar workers).

The demand for manpower in the private households through the service check system still continues to rise (rise on an annual basis : +6% in jobs, +8% in work volume). Nevertheless the growth rates have sharply declined during the last quarterly periods.

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