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Labor market analysis for the first quarter of 2018 2018-07-06

With regard to the same period in 2017, the salaried employment rate has increased during the first quarter of 2018, both in terms of jobs (+1.1%) and in terms of work volume (+1.6% of full-time equivalents). This positive trend is shown both in “Industry and Construction” and in the  “Commercial services sector” and the “Non-commercial services sector”.

The employment of temporary agency workers (+5.5% in work volume in terms of full-time equivalents, compared to the first quarter of 2017) has risen. 

Employee profile


The growth of employment shows almost the same rate among men and women and is felt most strongly in the age groups of 25 to 39 years and of 50 to 64 years.

The increase in employment is primarily shown in the private sector and mainly concerns full-time jobs (+1.8%).

This increase is applicable to the residents of the  Brussels-Capital Region (+1.4%) as well as to the residents of the Flemish Region (+1.1%) and of the Walloon Region (+0.8%).

Industry and Construction

The trend of the employment on an annual basis in industry and construction is positive (+1.0% in terms of jobs and of work volume). In most partial sectors, one may register a considerable increase of the employment rate. Particularly the food and the pharmaceutical industries are growing strongly. Only in the sectors of the manufacture of paper products and the printing companies the trend remains negative.  

Services sectors

In the sector of commercial services a strong increase in employment can be registered, compared tot he first quarter of 2017   (+1.9 % in terms of jobs and +2,5% in terms of work volume). This increase is the result of a strong growth in practically all partial sectors. Only in the sector “Financial activities and insurances" the evolution of employment is negative.

Globally employment in the non-commercial services sector shows a positive development (+0.4 % in terms of jobs and +0.9% of work volume). Adjusted to shifts between the partial sectors, a status quo of the number of jobs and a limited growth of the work volume (+0.5%) may be noticed for the sector “Public administration and Education". (More information about these shifts is available in the section "Particulars for the first quarter of 2018".) The growth in the health care and social services sectors is estimated as such at  +1.5 %, both in terms of jobs and in terms of work volume.

Temporary agency work


The demand for workers through the system of temporary agency work has increased. At the end of March 2018, more workers have been counted for the temporary agency sector than at the end of March 2017 (+4% for blue-collar workers and +2.6% for white-collar workers). The work volume in terms of full-time equivalents during the first quarter of 2018 was considerably higher than in the first quarter of  2017(+6% for blue-collar workers and +5% for white-collar workers).

More information ?

Rapid estimations of employment

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