The KBC economist Johan Van Gompel has said that Belgium is witnessing more unemployed persons despite having a record number of vacancies. He pointed out that the number of unemployed people receiving benefits has dropped below 500,000, the first time in 40 years.
He pointed out that such a number of inactive people is a thing to worry about. Working-age reflects the age 15 to 64 years, which is the most used international standards. He said that figure might be inflated, as it does not consider the part-time working community and the absenteeism.
He pointed that the inactive population is 37 percent of all the working-age Belgians and the number is 2.7 million. That makes the employment rate in the country to 63 percent. In Germany and Netherlands, the employment percentage is around 75 percent, which means that three out of four are working. France is a bit behind Germany but ahead of Belgium with 65 percent
He said that it is a worrying factor that in spite of job engine being in full swing, the high number of unemployed people is low.
'The explanation is not so much the number of unemployed people, which has declined considerably in recent years thanks to the improving economy. Behind the scenes is a larger group of inactive people who, temporarily or otherwise, do not seek work or have to do that anymore.' He said.
Van Gompel said that to make inactive people active there is a need to find other reasons than to focus only on the job activation. He pointed out that there might be health reasons, family reasons or other reason for people to remain inactive. He said the target should be those who are beyond such problems and there is a need to bring them to the labor market.