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In two weeks, temporary unemployment has quadrupled: “Companies don’t do it for fun”

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Temporary unemployment claims have already been submitted for 41,226 employees, a notable increase compared to just two weeks ago, when it affected around 10,000 workers, Het Nieuwsblad, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg reported on Monday.

Since the beginning of October, employers can cite energy prices as a reason for laying off temporary workers. Already 784 companies have taken the step for a total of 41,226 employees in Belgium, according to figures from Onem.

“Companies don’t do it for fun. Reducing or stopping production is radical”, according to labor economist Stijn Baert at the University of Ghent (UGent). “But they make their calculations: what is still profitable and what is no longer? This is a problem especially for industries, in competition with international companies that are not subject to the energy crisis”.

Onem relativizes, however, that this is an increase which remains modest compared to the requests for temporary unemployment introduced during the pandemic. There were then more than 100,000 people on temporary unemployment. “It’s the indicator that the economy is at a standstill and that a recession is ultimately around the corner.”