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One click to Europe - 06 May 2021 (Participating: Online)

Where are the available workers?

The occupations most sought

Accounting for 13% of planned recruitments, hotel and catering and business services are still the main sectors for national recruitment, followed closely by health and social work (11%):

  • the services sector alone accounts for 64% of planned recruitments (4% increase);
  • recruitment prospects in trade have also improved, accounting for 11.5% of the total in 2014, i.e. up 5.3% on 2013.
  • the construction sector accounted for 5.3% of labour needs in 2014, up by 11.5% compared with 2013.

This year again, the most sought-after jobs - mostly low-skilled - are in personal services: kitchen apprentices, serving staff, community workers, home helps, personal care workers, etc. This result illustrates the structurally significant influence of tourist activities and personal services in the French economic fabric. These jobs are generally of a highly seasonal nature and are characterised by considerable recruitment difficulties.

A number of jobs in the agricultural sector (salaried wine and fruit producers, etc.) remain among the most sought-after, although they are highly seasonal in nature. Significant numbers of jobs are planned in business services sector (cleaners), industry (design engineers and executives) and trade (salespersons, self-service employees).

The ten most sought-after occupations, excluding seasonal work

  • Cleaners (including ATSEM, i.e. specialised nursery school cleaners)
  • Home helps and domestic cleaners
  • Multi-skilled kitchen assistants, apprentices and staff
  • Personal care workers (psychological assistance, childcare assistance, medical assistants, etc.)
  • Design engineers and executives and R&D (IT), IT managers
  • Sales representatives (sales technicians in corporate sales)
  • Office secretaries and similar occupations (including medical secretaries)
  • Community workers (trainers and managers)
  • Cafe and restaurant serving staff (including assistants)
  • Artists (music, dance, shows, including art teachers)

Text last edited on: 06/2015

Where are the available jobs?

Recruitment difficulties:
The recruitment difficulties reported by employers decreased this year. They concern 34.7 % of planned recruitments compared with 40.4 % in 2013.

In the construction sector, 49 % of planned recruitments have been defined as difficult (55 % in 2013), with 39 % in industry (42 % in 2013).

Occupations providing services to private individuals (home helps and domestic cleaners, cooks, domestic employees, etc.), but also some jobs in industry (design engineers and executives, IT R&D staff, IT project managers) and in health (personal care workers) form the bulk of those recruitments regarded as difficult by employers.

The 10 occupations causing the most recruitment difficulties
No. of projects.
Percentage of planned recruitments regarded as difficult
Design engineers and executives, IT R&D staff and IT project managers
24 636.
64.50 %
Home helps, domestic cleaners and family workers
52 168.
5 120 Cooks
33 434.
48.20 %
Domestic employees and staff
21 716.
46.00 %
Sales representatives (sales technicians in corporate sales)
23 501.
Sportsmen and women, and sports instructors
21 612.
Security and surveillance officers, private investigators and similar occupations
21 139.
Hotel employees
31 598.
Cafe and restaurant serving staff and assistants
70 445.
Personal care workers (medical and psychological support workers, childcare assistants, medical assistants, etc.)
40 094.
*Only including those occupations accounting for over 1% of the total number of planned recruitments in 2014.

Source: Labour Needs (BMO) survey 2014.

Text last edited on: 06/2015

Short overview of the labour market:

The active population of France aged 15 or over was estimated at 28.6 million. Over the last ten years, it has increased by 1.8 million. By 2025, it could grow by a further 1.5 million people, to reach 30 million. As of 2035, this progression is due to slow down, settling at 31.2 million in 2060.

Around 18% of the French active population works part-time. These posts are held mainly by women: 30.2% of women are in part-time employment, compared with only 6.9% of men.

n the European Union, the rate of employment for persons aged between 15 and 64 years was 64.1% in 2012, down 0.1 points compared with 2011. France is on a par with the European average, behind the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Austria, which have rates of over 70%.

The labour needs survey reports 1 700 500 planned recruitments in the 388 employment catchment areas in France (mainland and overseas départements), i.e. a 5.4% increase compared with 2013.

With 1.5 points more than in 2013, the percentage of employers planning to recruit at least one person in the course of 2014 has reached 19.5%, which corresponds to 450 700 potential recruiters. While the tendency to recruit is growing in businesses with 50 or more employees, it has stagnated among those with 1 to 49 employees. 

Nearly half of planned recruitments involve permanent jobs (open-ended contracts or fixed-term contracts for six months or more). The reasoning behind most of the announced plans is an anticipated increase in workload (42.7%). Pôle emploi (the public employment office) is still a preferred intermediary since seven out of ten establishments consider entrusting their recruitment to Pôle emploi, particularly in the case of jobs regarded as difficult to fill.

This year again, some of the profiles most in demand are occupations providing services to private individuals such as community workers, home helps or domestic cleaners, cafe and restaurant serving staff and hotel employees. Business services also offer numerous opportunities, either in operational, low-skilled posts (cleaners, handlers), or in executive posts (design engineers and executives and IT R&D staff).

Seasonal contracts account for 39.2% of expected recruitment, a significant increase on 2013 (+3.4 points). The agricultural sector alone - in which occupations are also highly sought after in 2014 (salaried wine and fruit producers, pickers, agricultural workers, etc.) - covers over one quarter of all planned recruitments of this nature, compared with only 1.7% of plans for permanent posts.

Employers considered 35.7% of recruitment to be difficult, a decrease of 5.7 points compared with last year. Metallurgy, the manufacturing industries, and the trade and construction sector are particularly affected. According to employers, these difficulties are most often due to unsuitable profiles or a shortage of applicants.

They describe training for employees (external or already in the company) as the best way to remedy such difficulties.

Text last edited on: 06/2015

Hot jobs:

Top 10 of the most required occupations in France

1.    Commercial sales representatives    (ISCO 3322)
2.    Cooks    (ISCO 5120)
3.    Waiters    (ISCO 5131)
4.    Shop sales assistants    (ISCO 5223)
5.    Heavy truck and lorry drivers    (ISCO 8332)
6.    Accounting associate professionals    (ISCO 3313)
7.    Social work associate professionals    (ISCO 3412)
8.    Stock clerks    (ISCO 4321)
9.    Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers    (ISCO 7231)
10.  Mechanical engineering technicians    (ISCO 3115)