In the recent past, medium-term projections were given less attention than short-term analyses. However, things appear to have evolved and mid-term prospects seem to be enjoying a renewed interest. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, many countries have been confronted with large imbalances in terms of high unemployment, unused production capacities or financial deficits. In the longer term, demographic changes, including population ageing, are likely to cause massive changes in the composition of GDP. Addressing these various challenges can only be considered in the context of medium- and long-term scenarios.
A major concern regarding the consequences of offshoring is about the labour market position of low‐skilled workers. This paper provides evidence for Belgium that offshoring has had a negative impact on the employment share of low‐skilled workers in the manufacturing sector between 1995 and 2007. The main contribution to the fall in the low‐skilled employment share came from materials offshoring to Central and Eastern Europe (21%), followed by business services offshoring (8%). In manufacturing industries with a higher ICT capital intensity the impact of offshoring is smaller. For market services industries, no robust conclusions regarding the impact of offshoring on low‐skilled employment could be drawn.
The Federal Planning Bureau presents its latest medium-term outlook (2012-2017) on 14 May 2012. The Economic Outlook 2012-2017 for Belgium is set against the background of budgetary consolidation and weak economic growth in Europe.
The 1996 Act establishes a preventive wage norm, based on the expected evolution of the labour costs in three reference countries, namely France, Germany and the Netherlands. It refers for those three countries to forecasts drawn up by the OECD. In its "Economic Outlook", the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) analyses in the chapter on the labour market, particularly since the 2007 edition, the monitoring of the “wage norm”. This analysis revealed the existence of different concepts of wage costs. This note aims to clarify and explain these concepts as well as the wage developments in these different meanings. It also seeks to raise questions related to these concepts
In the national accounts labour inputs are collected by industry. Homogenising means transforming labour inputs by industry into labour inputs by product. This homogenisation is done using mathematical techniques. The paper compares the results for two wellknown techniques (product technology and industry technology) and discusses the effects of homogenisation on Belgian data for the years 2000 and 2005. Labour inputs are detailed by gender and education level. An additional distinction is made between employees and self-employed. The paper proposes a solution for the negatives problem that arises when applying the product technology model in the case of self-employed workers. It also assesses the plausibility of results by showing the effects of homogenising on wage costs and value added per head as well as on the ranking of industries by education level. The product and the industry technology model yield significantly different results, most particularly for the employment use of wholesale and retail trade. The results of the product technology model are judged to be most plausible
This study aims to analyse the effects of the decentralization level of collective wage bargaining on the wage level and the wage dispersion in Belgium. For this purpose, we have constructed a composite indicator of collective bargaining decentralization, based on variables that determine collective bargaining. Our results indicate the presence of a significant wage bonus and wider wage disparity in industries where collective bargaining is decentralized. Furthermore, we compare these results with those that use as an indicator of bargaining decentralization, the presence of collective agreements at company level, a commonly used indicator in the literature. We notice that this latter indicator seems to underestimate the degree of bargaining decentralization and thus also its effects on the wage structure. One can explains this result by the fact that in Belgium, besides firm collective agreements, the bargaining system also provides mechanisms that enable firms to distance themselves from collective agreements set at industry level.
This Working Paper gives an overall picture of the horeca industry in Belgium. The study focuses in particular on aspects of business demography, the importance of the sector for the Belgian economy, its development since the mid‐nineties and the financial health of horeca companies. Since the provision of horeca services is a very labour‐intensive activity, special attention is paid to employment features.
The Federal Planning Bureau’s user charter was approved and signed by the Executive Council in June 2010. It covers a number of commitments concerning the term of treatment, office opening hours, publication distribution and the evaluation of services offered.
The present paper computes cumulative employment generated by the Belgian environmental industry. Relying on Belgian input-output tables for the year 2000 and on detailed
employment data (SAM sub?]matrix), we investigate the patterns of the employment in the environmental industry, by considering the worker types differentiated by gender, educational attainment or a combination of these characteristics. The employment multiplier analysis of environmental employment reveals some interesting differences between employment of the overall economy and environmental employment for the level of education as well as for the gender type.
Increased international economic integration and skill-biased technological change are often regarded as the main drivers of the rising inequality in wages and employment witnessed in industrialized countries in recent decades as they are believed to emphasize differences between individuals in level of education. However, proponents of a task-based view of technological change and offshoring stress the evolving content of tasks as the major determinant of shifts in labour demand and argue that this does not necessarily imply a clear-cut match between the level of education and job opportunities. Belgian data from the Structure and Distribution of Earnings Survey for the period 1999-2004 suggest that the level of wages is significantly correlated with the level of education but wage growth is not. Occupation seems to explain a statistically significant part of the wage level as well as wage growth of workers. The analysis supports the view that the level of education provides less information than the occupation of workers in explaining changes in wages and employment. Overall, it appears that a policy that simply aims to increase the level of education of the active population is not warranted. In addition to the risk of over-education, such a policy is not likely to alleviate the mismatch which to some extent exists between the competencies required by employers and the competencies offered by workers and the unemployed.
The fear of massive job losses has prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. The offshoring intensity is computed as a volume measure of the share of imported intermediate inputs in output based on a series of constant price supply-and-use tables for the period 1995-2003. Both materials and business services offshoring to high-wage and low-wage countries are addressed. The split-up according to the origin of the imported intermediates is done combining detailed trade data with data from the use table. The main findings are that materials offshoring stands at a higher level than business services offshoring, but that the latter grows much faster especially for the Central and Eastern European countries. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003. However, this does not preclude a differential impact by skill-level.
The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and the productivity evolution in Belgium, in comparison with the EU and the US, between 1970 and 2005, based on a consistent data set. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain value added and labour productivity growth for the total economy, manufacturing and market services. This decomposition exercise diverges from what has been applied in Belgium up to now, as it uses capital services flows rather than the capital stock and labour services flows rather than the number of hours worked to measure the contribution of these factors of production to economic and productivity growth. Contributions of the main industries to value added, employment and productivity growth are also estimated.
This Working Paper introduces the notion of qualitative employment multipliers. These show the employment use by sex, age class, professional status, educational attainment level and labour regime for each final demand product. The paper describes the methodology and presents three applications based on input-output data and detailed employment data for Belgium for the years 2000 and 2002.
The study identifies the goods and services that most extensively use low skilled labour and determines the direct and indirect use of high skilled labour in the production of ICT goods and services. The third application is to generate qualitative employment multipliers per final demand component, distinguishing exports, investment and household or government and NPISH consumption.
This paper provides a rough estimate for Belgium of the proportion of service jobs at risk of being offshored in the wake of ICT-developments, and compares the results for Belgium with results for the EU15 and the US. Occupational employment data from the Labour Force Survey are used to produce this estimate by identifying service jobs that could possibly be offshored due to ICT-enabled tradability. The results show that the share of such jobs is lower for Belgium than for the EU15 or the US, but that there is an upward trend in this share over the period 1993 to 2005. Industry-level data and a shift-and-share analysis are used to explain the results.
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