Very low work intensity

In 2020 (employment data of 2019), the proportion of the Belgian population under 60 living in households with very low work intensity equaled to 11.9%. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease. Between 2004 and 2019 the trend is undetermined (assessment of November 2021; without taking into account 2020, because the Covid-19 pandemic impacted data collection).

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Very low work intensity - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population aged less than 60

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//20142019//2010
Belgium14.715.112.714.614.912.612.411.9-1.1-3.2-0.3
EU27----9.911.110.58.88.5-----5.2-1.7
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: BE 2019; BE 2020 data collection impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), sdg_01_40 or ilc_lvhl11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by region - Belgium

percentage of population aged less than 60

 2011201420152018201920202019//20112019//2014
Brussels-Capital Region27.525.325.523.724.127.8-1.6-1.0
Flemish Region8.69.59.87.37.49.3-1.9-4.9
Walloon Region18.419.820.218.117.118.2-0.9-2.9
//: Average Growth Rates

The margin of uncertainty for this indicator is indicated in the text for the latest year. Break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel (2012), SILC Quality Reports 2011, https://statbel.fgov.be/nl/themas/huishoudens/armoede-en-levensomstandigheden/risico-op-armoede-sociale-uitsluiting/plus (consulted on 14/10/2019) and Statbel (2021), direct communication, 21/06/2021.

Very low work intensity by sex - Belgium

percentage of population aged less than 60

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
females16.116.513.514.915.813.612.912.3-1.5-2.8
males13.313.711.914.214.111.711.911.6-0.7-3.5
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by age - Belgium

percentage of population

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
<1813.813.412.013.013.811.910.410.8-1.9-4.4
18-5915.115.712.915.115.312.913.212.4-0.9-2.7
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by education - Belgium

percentage of population aged 18 to 59 years

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
less than primary, primary and lower secondary education29.227.926.836.936.129.130.732.40.3-3.6
upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education12.513.410.012.814.013.113.912.90.71.7
tertiary education6.46.65.45.97.44.75.14.8-1.5-2.9
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl14, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by household type - Belgium

percentage of population aged less than 60

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
single person30.430.628.734.231.828.529.829.1-0.1-2.7
single person with dependent children46.539.535.733.637.133.827.332.3-3.5-4.1
two adults21.321.816.215.515.813.813.011.7-3.2-3.5
two adults with one dependent child7.17.56.08.66.67.79.98.92.22.9
two adults with two dependent children5.05.64.45.86.45.43.83.7-1.8-8.1
two adults with three or more dependent children9.29.58.312.110.38.79.05.3-0.1-5.7
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by activity status - Belgium

percentage of population aged less than 60

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
employed0.20.30.40.30.40.20.30.22.70.0
not employed44.246.841.046.047.043.044.443.30.0-0.7
unemployed62.567.157.356.361.761.863.262.00.12.3
retired67.172.667.066.567.558.970.864.20.41.3
other inactive34.834.733.740.440.638.539.739.60.9-0.3
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl12, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Very low work intensity by income - Belgium

percentage of population aged less than 60

 200420052010201420152018201920202019//20042019//2014
quintile 151.754.048.053.653.752.649.451.0-0.3-1.6
quintile 219.719.715.217.016.912.211.211.8-3.7-8.0
quintile 37.26.33.34.55.71.83.62.7-4.5-4.4
quintile 42.12.72.31.31.50.61.81.3-1.06.7
quintile 50.81.51.51.00.91.00.70.8-0.9-6.9
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_lvhl13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/10/2021).

Definition: the work intensity of a household is calculated as the ratio of the number of months actually worked by the household members of working age (18-59 years of age, excluding students aged 18 to 24) during a year and the total number of months that these people theoretically could have worked during the same year. If this ratio is lower than 20%, all household members belong to a household with a very low work intensity. Households that consist exclusively of children, students aged less than 25 and/or persons aged 60 or over are totally excluded from the calculation of the indicator. People living in a household with a very low work intensity belong to the target group of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, as defined in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Work intensity data presented here are based on the EU survey Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), where employment data are always related to the year preceding the survey year. This means, for example, that for the 2020 survey year the 2019 employment data, which were not affected by the covid-19 crisis, were used in the calculation of this indicator.

Statistics Belgium organises this EU-harmonised survey in Belgium and makes the results available, in particular to Eurostat. 2004 is the first year for which European harmonised data have been collected to calculate the indicator. The data used here come from Eurostat, which publishes detailed and comparable results between EU Member States. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty should be taken into account. This margin of uncertainty increases as the indicator is calculated on smaller sub-populations. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statistics Belgium.

From 2019 onwards, the survey methodology has been thoroughly reviewed for better accuracy. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted data collection. This makes it difficult to compare the results of SILC 2020 with those of previous years. (Statbel, 2021). Therefore, they are not used to calculate and evaluate the long-term trend.

In 2021, the definition of this indicator was slightly revised. The main change concerns increasing the upper limit for this indicator from 59 to 64 years, given that there is a tendency to work until an older age. (Eurostat, 2021, European Commission 2022).

Goal: the share of people living in a household with a very low work intensity, and their number, must be reduced.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include the following targets: “Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard” (target 10.3) and “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions” (target 1.2).

People living in a household with a very low work intensity belong to the target group for which the Europe 2020 Strategy (European Commission, 2010) sets a reduction target, i.e. people at risk of poverty or social exclusion. They are also part - taking into account the aforementioned change in definition - of the target group of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion for which a new reduction target was adopted within the framework of the Europe 2030 Strategy (European Council, 2021a, 2021b).

International comparison: in the EU27, this indicator rose from 9.9% in 2010 to 11.1% in 2014, then decreased to 8.5% in 2019. The average value of this indicator in the EU27 is 3.9 percentage points lower than that of Belgium. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the poorest performance in 2019. In that year, the Czech Republic ranked first with 4.4% and Greece last with 15.6%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator is related to indicator 1.2.2 - Proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions, since people living in a household with a very low work intensity are part of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion, which is the indicator corresponding to the national definition of multidimensional poverty.

Sources

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