Labour market reforms to boost employment

March 2007
OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium;Mar2007, Vol. 2007 Issue 3, p65
Country Report
Country Report
Employment growth has picked up since 2004, and so has labour supply, reflecting government policies to encourage participation. Nonetheless, unemployment is persistent and particularly high for certain groups, such as older and younger workers. Moreover, important geographical differences in unemployment rates exist. The authorities have launched a new programme to activate the unemployed. However, the monitoring of search efforts is not yet undertaken jointly by the federal and the regional public employment services, which would help to secure consistency of feedback and sanctioning mechanisms. As for older workers, the government has enacted a series of measures to boost participation by removing incentives to retire early. The centralised wage bargaining system has helped to moderate wage growth, but not to avoid cost competitiveness losses, and in combination with general indexation on prices it has allowed little wage differentiation across geographical locations.


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