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France

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Where are the available workers?

The 10 occupations signalling the least recruitment difficulties are:

  • Artists (in music, dance, shows, art teachers) – 50 749;
  • Cashiers – 32 038;
  • Self-service store employees – 57 442;
  • Various administrative officers (data entry, HR support, inquiries…) – 30 761;
  • Wine producers, arboriculturists and crop pickers – 128 830;
  • Reception and information staff, switchboard operators – 25 542;
  • Salespersons for clothing, accessories and luxury items, sport, leisure and culture – 37 663;
  • Unskilled manual workers in packaging and freight handling – 58 125;
  • Office secretaries and similar occupations – 36 071;
  • Cleaners – 105 388.

Where are the available jobs?

Whether predominantly seasonal or not, or low, medium, or high-skilled, the occupations most in demand in 2018 have a highly diverse profile.

Jobs in agriculture, which are predominantly seasonal, are among the most in demand (128 800 planned recruitments for wine producers, arboriculturists and crop pickers, 73 200 for farmers and agricultural labourers). Hotel and catering jobs are also highly sought-after. Many of them are seasonal and anticipated recruitment difficulties are often greater than the average across all professions. They relate to café and restaurant serving staff (89 200 planned recruitments), kitchen assistants, apprentices and kitchen porters (83 500 planned recruitments), cooks (46 700 planned recruitments) and hotel employees (40 300 planned recruitments).

Care and support jobs also feature among the professions most in demand, along with home helps and domestic cleaners (65 600 planned recruitments) and personal care workers (58 500 planned recruitments). For these two jobs, anticipated recruitment difficulties are greater than the average. The level of difficulty is even particularly high for home helps and domestic cleaners (76.8%).

Business services jobs also feature among the sought-after jobs: cleaners (105 400 planned recruitments), unskilled manual workers in packaging and freight handling (58 100 planned recruitments).

Isolated increases in workload remains the main reason for recruitment for almost every one in two establishments. The reasons for recruitment vary greatly from one sector to the next. In agriculture, the reason for the majority of recruitments (87.9%) is to cope with isolated increases in workload. In other sectors, such as personal services, retail and construction, at least one intended recruitment out of every four is made to cope with permanent departures, that proportion increasing to almost one third in industry (32.8%).

An observation of the 15 most sought-after occupations reveals four groups:

  • First quadrant: profiles where recruitment difficulties are high but planned recruitments have a relatively low seasonal link. These are occupations providing services to private individuals (home helps, domestic cleaners), engineers and personal care workers to a lesser extent;
  • Second quadrant: professions in which recruitment is relatively less difficult and hiring is less seasonal than the national average. These include operational posts (cleaners);
  • Third quadrant: employers who anticipate slight difficulties and high use of seasonal staff for a wide variety of profiles: agricultural jobs (wine producers, farmers), self-service store employees, clothing sales assistants, unskilled packaging workers, artists, community workers;
  • Fourth quadrant: catering jobs – serving staff, cooks and hotel employees – with great difficulties as well as a high level of seasonality

Short overview of the labour market:

The population of France reached 67.2 million inhabitants as at 1 January 2018, representing an increase of 233 000 people (+0.3%) over a year, but is nevertheless marked by a decrease in the birth rate for the third consecutive year. The increase in population, at a slower pace than in previous years (+0.5% between 2008 and 2013 and +0.4% between 2014 and 2016), is primarily attributable to the rate of natural increase (difference between the number of births and the number of deaths), being +164 000 people, albeit that this number is at a ‘historic low’.

In 2018, 71.9% of people in France aged between 15 and 64 were economically active within the meaning defined by the International Labour Office (ILO). This rate increased by 0.4 points in 2018, reaching its highest level since 1975.

In 2018, 27.1 million people had a job. Among salaried employees, 84.7% were employed under open-ended (permanent) contracts. 18.5% of people who had a job were working part-time, a decrease of 0.3 points over one year.

With 2.7 million people being unemployed within the meaning defined by the ILO, the unemployment rate stood at 8.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018. The downward trend that started in 2016 is continuing, but more moderately: -0.3 points in 2018, followed by -0.7 points in 2017. It is more pronounced for young people and those who are less qualified. Long-term unemployment affected 3.8% of the active population in 2018, representing a decrease of 0.4 points over one year. While more prevalent among the young active population, unemployment is more long-lasting for the older population.

Employers’ recruitment efforts increased by 18.7% in 2018, following a sustained increase in 2017 (+8.2%), and represented potentially 2.35 million people being hired. This means that 370 000 additional planned recruitments were recorded that year. This rapid development is due to the net increase in the number of establishments planning to hire. 25.9% of establishments declared an intention to hire in 2018, compared with 22.4 % in 2017, which is 3.5 points higher. Over half of the recruitment (63.9%) is intended for long-term contracts (permanent contracts or fixed-term contracts for six months or longer). This proportion has increased significantly compared with 2017 (+6.4 points).

Intentions to hire are on the rise in all sectors and are showing particular growth in construction and industry. With over 893 600 planned recruitments, which is 100 400 more than in 2017 (+12.7%), the personal services sector represented 38.1% of the intentions to hire in 2018 and remained the leading recruiting sector.

Intentions to hire in the business services sector continue to grow at a steady pace of 22.5%, attributable to the dynamism of the transport and storage sector (+32.4% compared with 2017) and the scientific, technical, administrative and support services sector (+20.6%). As in 2017, the strongest growth in intentions to hire was recorded in the construction sector, with 141 900 planned recruitments, an increase of 37.0% (compared to +22.5% in 2017).

The second largest increase was observed in industry. Labour needs in that sector have increased by 27.4%. The transport equipment manufacturing sector (+49.7%) and metallurgy and metalworking sector (+46.1%) are showing particularly high levels of growth.

Intentions to hire have increased by 22.0% in commerce (at almost 53 000 additional planned recruitments), with a particularly sharp increase in the motor trade and motor vehicle repair (+30.8% compared to 2017). Finally, in agriculture, intentions to hire have increased by 13.4%.

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)

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