Unemployment in Flanders up 6 per cent

The number of unemployed people registered with the Flemish public employment service (VDAB) increased by 6 per cent in March compared to a year earlier, VDAB reported on Tuesday. It says the increase is mainly due to the arrival of Ukrainian refugees.

On 31 March 2023, a total of 193,886 unemployed people were registered with the VDAB. More than three-quarters of them are receiving guidance from a VDAB mediator, while 14 per cent are in training or pre-training. The remaining 9 per cent are not immediately employable.

According to VDAB, the increased rate is mainly due to the increase in the number of jobseekers from outside the EU (+49 per cent). These are mainly Ukrainians (+5,984), but also Moroccans (+1,448) and Afghans (+1,185).

March is the fifth consecutive month in which VDAB has reported an increase in unemployment. Notably, the increase among those with a higher education degree (+10 per cent) in February was over three times the average (+3.1 per cent). VDAB says this increase was "largely driven by highly educated people of Ukrainian nationality".




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