Brussels sees major increase in unemployment among under-25s

More than 8,000 under-25s in Brussels are unemployed. This is a 12.8 per cent increase compared to July last year, according to figures from the Brussels employment service Actiris.

"Over a 10-year period, youth unemployment is still relatively low. In July 2013, for example, there were 14,005 jobseekers in the Brussels region, compared to 8,073 today," Jan Gatz of Actiris told VRT NWS. No other age group has seen such a remarkable increase. ​

"In times of crisis, there are fewer opportunities for young people with less experience"

The unstable climate we live in is impacting the labour market, he said: "In times of crisis, there are fewer opportunities for young people with less experience." As a result, there are currently between 10 and 20 per cent fewer vacancies. "Employers are less likely to hire young people or delay hiring them," he added. "But the good news is that when the economic engine starts again, they will be the first to be hired."

Impact of war and pandemic

The war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic also affect the labour market. "Many Ukrainian jobseekers have come to register, and there is an 'aftermath' of the Covid period. Many young people decided to extend their studies during this period. They have also registered now."

In the Brussels suburbs, however, there are many vacancies, although bilingualism is often a requirement. Gatz says learning a second national language is the best investment young people can make. "One in two jobs requires it," he says. "Another good investment is a degree or training in one of the many bottleneck professions such as education, care or engineering."



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