1 in 3 new jobs is in public sector, National Bank figures show

More than 230,000 jobs have been created in Belgium since 2020, with one-third of them in the public sector, Het Laatste Nieuws reports, based on figures from the National Bank.

From 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2024, 232,000 net jobs were added, employer organisations Voka and FEB calculated. One in three – 75,800 jobs – is in the public sector, including functions in healthcare and education.

“The number of government jobs has been increasing for years,” Bart Van Craeynest, chief economist of Voka told HLN. “Currently, there are 1.6 million people working in the public sector compared to only 1 million in the mid-1990s. This is a spectacular increase.”

Belgian government spending is already the second-highest in Europe, with wages accounting for a major part of spending.

Private sector reforms

The number of civil servants varies by region. In Flanders, 24.45 per cent of working people are civil servants, in Brussels the figure is 26.79 per cent and in Wallonia 33.37 per cent.

Voka, which represents businesses in Flanders, does not want to cut the civil service immediately. It does, however, want the number of jobs within the government to be reduced and, at the same time, reforms to increase the number of jobs in the private sector.

The National Bank’s figures also show that, for the first time, there are more than 5 million people in Belgium in employment.



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