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temporary workers

Belgium’s temporary employment sector down 8.27% in October reflecting economic challenges

October 2023 sees notable decline of hours worked by temporary agency workers.

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8.27% decrease was influenced by specific drops in the blue-collar and white-collar segments.
Flanders experienced a modest decline of 0.52% in October.
Brussels exhibited an increase of 0.49% compared to the previous month.

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In October 2023, the recorded number of hours worked by temporary agency workers in Belgium exhibited a notable decline of 8.27% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This information is based on calendar-basis adjusted data released by Federgon, the Belgian federation of staffing agencies.

The overall 8.27% decrease was influenced by specific drops in the blue-collar and white-collar segments, with a respective year-on-year fall of 6.99% and 9.94%.

Regionally, Flanders reported an annual decline of 9.99% in October. Breaking it down by segment, the white-collar segment experienced a decrease of 12.44%, while the blue-collar segment declined by 8.30%. Wallonia witnessed a dip of 5.74%, with the white-collar and blue-collar segments down by 4.97% and 6.20%, respectively. Brussels recorded a 3.84% decrease over the year, where the white-collar segment fell by 7.70%, but the blue-collar segment surprisingly reported an increase of 6.49%.

Comparing October 2023 to the previous month, the overall number of hours worked in temporary positions declined by 0.12%, factoring in seasonal and calendar influences. This reduction was evident in both segments, with a 0.09% decrease in the blue-collar segment and a 0.39% decrease in the white-collar segment.

The overall number of hours worked in temporary positions declined by 0.12%, factoring in seasonal and calendar influences.

The Federgon index, reflecting the activity level in October 2023 compared to January 2007 (base 100), dropped slightly from 92.32 points to 92.21 points. This index is based on seasonally adjusted figures.

Looking at regional monthly changes, Flanders experienced a modest decline of 0.52% in October, with the white-collar and blue-collar segments decreasing by 0.55% and 0.60%, respectively. Wallonia, on the other hand, reported a month-on-month increase of 0.59%, driven by a 0.19% rise in the white-collar segment and a 0.70% increase in the blue-collar segment. Brussels exhibited an increase of 0.49% compared to the previous month, marked by a 0.01% decrease in the white-collar segment and a notable 1.75% uptick in the blue-collar segment.

Paul Verschueren, Federgon’s Director of Research & Economic Affairs, commented on the findings, noting that temporary employment activity in October displayed signs of stabilization, albeit remaining significantly below its usual level and registering an 8.27% decline compared to the same period last year. This development is seen as reflective of the ongoing challenges in the current economic landscape.

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