Labour costs and the workforce shortage reduces the “pull” of Belgium

Labour costs and taxes thereon, the administrative burdens and the lack of available workforce are constraints upon the “pull” of Belgium, as regards employment.

Our country is 25th in the world in the workforce rankings. This is known as the Total Workforce Index, developed by Manpower. The index compares the conditions for staff recruitment (both permanent and flexible) in 75 countries.

Belgium “can rely upon a skilled workforce, with good linguistic knowledge. With an employment rate of 62.8% and an ageing active population, our labour market risks being faced with growing talent shortages in the future.” This is the warning from Philippe Lacroix, the Manager of Manpower for Belgium and Luxembourg.

Labour costs are another weakness. Labour costs have gone up to 48.9% in Belgium, compared to the average of 25.6% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (known as the “EMEA”).

Although the regulatory framework has improved, the HR specialist laments the administrative burdens which constrain the efficiency of the labour market.

On the other hand, technological equipment is an asset. “Belgium is positioned significantly above the regional average as regards technological equipment, in particular concerning digitalisation and the Internet network.”

On a global scale, New Zealand tops the rankings ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the United States. In Europe, the first five places are occupied by Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands.

Belgium comes ahead of Germany (27th), Spain (33rd), Luxembourg (34th), Italy (60th) and France (66th).

The author: Michel DEURINCK

Michel Deurinck, born in Brussels in 1950, started his career in the Belgian civil service, dedicating over 30 years to public service. Upon retirement, he pursued his passion for journalism. Transitioning into this new field, he quickly gained recognition for his insightful reporting on politics and culture. Deurinck's balanced and thoughtful approach to journalism has made him a respected figure in Belgian media.

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