"Flemish unemployment diminishes for the first time in 5 years"

The newspaper I usually read (De Standaard) is running a story on how the unemployment rate went down for the first time in 5 years. They claim they got the data from the (VDAB, the Flemish service for employment stuff.
I really can't believe that.

So I checked out the VDAB site. At first I couldn't find the numbers they were referring to, untill I noticed it was on the front page (no detailed numbers like I was expecting, but just the interpreted data in the front story)
Let's have a look at that!

"Flanders had 241114 unemployed people looking for a job in October 2005. That's 3346 or 1.4% less than last year [There were 244460 in Oct 2004, so thats right]
The comparisons on a yearly base are no longer corrupted by the participation of older jobhunting people with mini-exemption [what the hell is that??] and the PWA-employees [unemployed people who are allowed to do small shores in exchange for a small amount of money]."

So lets get this straight. The unemployment numbers decreased a bit, but we used a different method of counting. So what does this prove ? That the economy is improving ? Of course not! Numbers from september 2005 and 2004 indicate that the unemployment increased from 243324 to 248624 (5300 extra), from 260307 to 265845 in august (5538 extra), from 241476 to 256446 in july (14970 extra) etc.

This is a typical example of the media trying to misguide the public with twisted numbers. And of course or government is adding to the hoax, by claiming that other countries are not following this trend (Why would they ? Maybe they don't throw around wrong numbers)

Why are these people not counted in the statistics ? I don't see why they should not be labelled "unemployed" ? It's not like that term is an insult or something.

So much disgusting media-manipulation in Belgium, it makes me sick