The Belgian economy is an export-driven one. Important sectors in Belgium’s economy include trade; transport and accommodation/food services; industry; public administration; and professional/technical/scientific services. The economy can be divided between the Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders regions. The Brussels region has a greater focus on financial and administrative services than the other areas; given that many international organisations are based in Brussels, its workforce comprises people with relatively high qualifications and good linguistic skills. Wallonia and Flanders are more dependent on industry, and in particular the production of intermediate goods traded in the global market.
Employment in Belgium regained its pre-2008 financial crisis level in 2014, and is expected to continue to grow over the medium term to 2025. Most employment growth will be in non-marketed services, primarily the public sector, and most job opportunities will be for professionals.
Forecasts show that Belgium will experience an increase in demand for high- and low-skilled workers over the medium term, whilst demand for medium-skilled workers will concurrently decrease. Meanwhile, the relative share of Belgium’s labour force with high level qualifications is projected to increase by 2025, whilst the share of workers with medium qualifications will stay at around the same level and the share of the labour force with low or no qualifications will decrease in turn.
Belgium’s working-age population (15-64) is also projected to grow in this period, with labour market participation remaining at around the same level. Looking to the longer-term future, Belgium is expected to have a significantly lower old-age dependency ratio than the EU28 average.