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Less than two thirds (62 per cent) of non-European immigrants living in Belgium had a job in 2012, notes De Standaard, in a report which cites and analyses figures from Eurostat.

This proportion, which is significantly lower than the average for other EU states (73 per cent), can be explained by industrial decline in the country, and by the language skills demanded by Belgian employers. However, according to an expert quoted by the daily, immigrants also have to endure “persistent discrimination” —

Employers are prejudiced against people with immigrant backgrounds whom they believe make less good employees. As a result, immigrant workers tend to end up in jobs that non-immigrants do not want, working in services or for recruitment agencies. In countries with a higher proportion of ‘bad’ jobs of this kind, immigrants have higher rates of employment.