Employment in high-tech sectors

  • High-tech sectors account for 9% of total employment

    In 2019, 8.9% of the total number of employed persons in the Flemish Region worked in one of the high-tech sectors. This share has declined over the past decade, although there are signs of a slight upturn since 2016.

    The share of employed persons in high-tech sectors is significantly higher for men (12.7%) than for women (4.7%). In recent years there has been a slight increase for both men and women.

  • High-tech services on the rise in employment

    The high-tech sector may be broken down into 2 main sectors: high-tech services and (medium) high-tech industry. In 2019, representing 3.7% of the total number of employed persons, the share of high-tech services was less than that of the (medium) high-tech industry (5.2%). Over the years, the share of the service component gradually grew. The opposite was true for (medium) high-tech industry.

    Both in industry and services the share is higher for men (7.7% and 5.0%) than for women (2.3% each). For both men and women, the importance of the industrial component declined between 2008 and 2019 and that of the services component increased.

  • Flemish employment in high-tech sectors on a par with the EU average

    In 2019, the Flemish Region had within Belgium the highest share of high-tech sector employed persons (8.9%). In the Brussels Capital Region, this share stood at 7.9%, while in the Walloon Region 7.1% of the employed persons had a high-tech job. In the Brussels Capital Region, the share of high-tech services is relatively high (5.8%) compared to the other regions.

    The share of high-tech employment in overall employment in the Flemish Region in 2019 virtually corresponded with the average figure for the Member States of the European Union (EU28: 9,2%, EU27: 9.0%). The share is particularly high in some Eastern European Member States. The Czech Republic has the highest share (14.8%). Germany too boasts a relatively high percentage (12.5%). Belgium and the other neighbouring countries remain below the EU average. In Cyprus the share is lowest (3.2%).


High-tech sectors: sectors of industry which conduct a comparatively high level of research and development. The high-tech sectors can be broken down into an industrial and a service component: (medium) high-tech industry and high-tech services. 
(Medium) high-tech industry: the chemical industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the manufacture of electronic and IT products and electrical equipment, the manufacture of machines, equipment and tools and of means of transport. 
High-tech services: the production of films, TV and radio programmes, telecommunications, the design of and consultancy services in the area of computer software, scientific research. 

Publication date

26 January 2021

Next update

September 2021

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