Europe: After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Belgium entered into a series of sustained lockdowns, which saw the volume of work drop and resulted in working hours slumping.
Belgium was hit by major lockdowns two times, beginning in March and October, throughout 2020, which saw many businesses, especially in the hospitality and culture sector, record a significant decrease in demand.
All over the board, 2020 saw working hours decrease, particularly across most professions, irrespective of working status, gender, or employment. Meanwhile, the data indicates that workers who are not skilled and the least qualified saw the greatest drop in the hours spent at work.
Along with this, the relationship appears to be causal. The lower a worker’s education level, the greater the drop in hours during the pandemic. The opposite can also be observed.
Those people who are leaving the school with just a primary or secondary school education saw a decrease of 12 percent in their working hours. Those with short-type higher education diplomas (bachelor’s degree) saw a 6 percent drop in wages, as well as 3 percent for long-type.
The Federal Planning Bureau’s report highlighted, “The extension of telework, which is easier to exercise by the most qualified, as an alternative to stopping work has also contributed to these differences between levels of study.”
In addition, self-employed individuals were particularly impacted by the pandemic. “The decline in the number of hours worked in 2020 was more marked among the self-employed than among employees,” mentioned in the report.
Furthermore, there was no large exodus of workers away from the nation, as the number of individuals physically working in Belgium remained largely the same.