Unemployment rate in Belgium 2008-2019, by region

In 2019, the rate of unemployment in Belgium was 5.4 percent – the lowest it had been in a decade. However, there were real regional differences within the country. The Flemish region did particularly well economically, with an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in 2019. By comparison: unemployment was more than twice as high in the Walloon Region, and nearly four times as high in the Brussels-Capital Region.

 Number of unemployed per region

  Although Flanders had the lowest unemployment rate of all three regions, the actual number of unemployed people reached over 98 thousand in 2019. The Brussels-Capital Region, which had the highest unemployment rate, counted only 67,3 thousand unemployed people that year. This is mainly a result of a demographic imbalance: the Flemish region has nearly twice as many inhabitants as the Walloon Region, and over five times as many as the Brussels-Capital Region.

Unemployment forecasts

  According to a recent KBC forecast, the unemployment rate in Belgium was expected to decrease even further in 2019, to just under six percent. The Federal Plan Agency predicted a similar trend, with the number of unemployed people in Belgium falling from nearly 560,000 in 2017 to just under 390,000 in 2023. As can be seen, unemployment figures exceeded expectations in 2019.

Rate of unemployment in Belgium from 2008 to 2019, by region

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Statistics Belgium defines unemployment rate as the percentage unemployed people within the national labor force (that means employed as well as unemployed people) between the age of 15 and 64.

Belgium is divided into 3 regions: the Flemish Region, the Brussels-Capital Region and the Walloon Region. Each region has its own Regional Parliament and a Regional Government.

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Statistics on "Key economic indicators in Belgium"

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