Europese topper: Switzerland 2 ( )

Nederland: 4 ( )

België: 31 ( )

Aantal landen opgenomen in de ranking: 38


The employment rate indicates how many of the working age population (15 to 64 years) are actually employed. Rather than looking at headline figures of unemployment, this shows us to what extent the labour resources are being utilised. It is also less susceptible to policy makers decreasing the number of unemployed by redefining part of them as retired, disabled, sick or ineligible for unemployment benefits.


It’s widely known that 1 out of 3 Belgians of working age does not work. In fact, with an employment rate of 65.0%, it’s even slightly more than that. This places us in the tail-end of the ranking, near countries such as Mexico, Greece, Spain and Italy. In fact, we are the worst performing country of Northern and Western Europe, and a full 10% below any in the top-10.

Although Iceland distances itself from the pack at 85.5%, its economic and geopolitical circumstances are quite unique. Switzerland is the best performing comparable European country with an employment rate of 80.3 %. An employment rate of 77.8% snatches a fourth place for the Netherlands.

OECD, “Employment Rate (Indicator)” (OECD, 2018)

Year 2018(Q4)
1 Iceland
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Netherlands
5 New-Zealand
6 Japan
7 Germany
8 Estonia
9 Denmark
10 Czech Republic
11 Norway
12 United Kingdom
13 Canada
14 Australia
15 Austria
16 Lithuania
17  Finland
18 Latvia
19 Slovenia
20 United States
31 Belgium