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The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.

Labour market



Macroeconomic and fiscal effects of the draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan - Report to the Secretary of State for Recovery and Strategic Investments  [28/04/2021]

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan details the use of the €5.925 billion allocated under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The major part (88%) of the Belgian plan is directly intended to increase the capital stock of the Belgian economy through public investment and aid to private investment. In the short term, at the peak of the plan's stimulus effect, economic activity would be 0.2% higher than in the non-plan scenario. Although the stimulus is temporary, it has long-term effects due to the increase in the public capital stock and the support for R&D activities that improve the profitability of the capital stock of firms and encourage its accumulation. By 2040, GDP is still projected to be 0.1% above non-plan growth path. This estimate does not take into account the reform component of the plan, nor the broader recovery, investment and reform plans announced by the Regions and the federal government, nor the effect of foreign plans on the Belgian economy.

WP 02-21 : Analysis of the effect of the "first recruitments" measure on the survival of young businesses employing salaried staff [05/03/2021]

The "first recruitments"measure aims to promote employment while supporting small businesses and start-ups. The analysis shows that the measure has a positive but modest impact on the probability of survival of young businesses. Furthermore, the reinforcement in 2016 does not appear to have generated any additional benefit. On the one hand, these results imply that the strengthening of the measure does not address a genuine need on the part of the recipients. On the other hand, the reinforcement may have encouraged more employers to undertake a risky business activity.

Perspectives économiques 2021-2026 – Version de février 2021 [26/02/2021]

Ce rapport constitue une contribution à la préparation du nouveau Programme de Stabilité et du nouveau Programme National de Réforme. Il reprend les principaux résultats de la version préliminaire des « Perspectives économiques 2021-2026 » dont la version définitive sera publiée en juin 2021.



The Federal Planning Bureau’s (FPB) analyses of the labour market are especially aimed at the medium-term and long-term outlooks and projections. Measures or reforms in the labour market, such as cuts in social security contributions or wage subsidies, are assessed on a regular basis.

The FPB carries out various activities on the theme of  the labour market:

  • The FPB studies and models interactions between macroeconomic evolutions and evolutions in the labour market. This allows the impact of potential government policies on the economy and of business cycle developments on the labour market to be assessed. Labour market modelling relies on a detailed analysis of the determinants of employment, wages, etc.
  • The FPB draws up the Economic budget (see the theme ‘Short-term forecasting and business cycle’). This document provides the macro-economic short-term framework for drawing up the budget and reviews by the competent authorities and covers evolutions in employment, unemployment and wages.
  • The FPB carries out detailed medium-term (6-year) forecasts of the evolution of the labour market on the national level and by industry (see the theme ‘Medium-term macroeconomic projections and analyses’). The FPB also produces these forecasts for each of the federated entities within the framework of the HERMREG project, in collaboration with the three regional institutions: SVR, BISA and IWEPS (see the theme ‘Medium-term macroeconomic projections and analyses > Regional Economy).

Besides macroeconomic applications, analyses are also made based on individual longitudinal data, mainly in  the field of wage setting.  The impact of policies aimed at raising the participation rates in the labour market of certain groups is also studied through this approach.

Finally, the FPB also examines extensively its qualitative aspects, for instance the labour market segmentation according to demographic criteria or job characteristics.

Methods and Instruments

As well as different original analytical databases, the following instruments are used:

  • the labour market modules of the national macroeconomic models MODTRIM, HERMES and Hermreg. HERMES contains specific modules for the working time, the labour costs, employment allocation between different types of work at branch level and for employment in the service voucher system.
  • In HERMES as well as in HERMREG, labour supply is modelled using a sociodemographic module that can also project replacement demand created by exit of cohorts of workers from the labour market and the recruitment needs that should be met by new entrants on the labour market.
  • panel, double difference and regression discontinuity analyses.

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