Why the French economy created a record number of jobs in 2021

Posted on February 4th. 2022 9:40 amUpdated February 4th. 2022 17:31

Private salary employment, which is the opposite of the marked decline in unemployment, grew very strongly in 2021, as tentative estimates from INSEE released Friday show. In the fourth quarter, the French economy was enriched with 106,700 jobs, just over 20 million. In other words, at the end of December, it will exceed 650,000 in one year (+ 3.3%). Even if you have to wait until early March to take the final photo, including non-market departments, to find such a record, return to 2,000 and 600,000 jobs in nearly similar areas that year. is needed.

A little retreat, even in line with last year’s 7% increase in GDP, the 2020 air pockets have been completely wiped out, and even better, the numbers are impressive. Compared to the end of December 2019, it reveals nearly 300,000 additional jobs (+ 1.5%), far from the announced layoff tsunami.

Temporary leap

The increase recorded in the fourth quarter recovered sharply in the first quarter (+ 0.8%) and the second quarter (+ 1.5%), after a similar increase in the third quarter (+ 0.5%). It increased 4 times in a row. Laboratory. Similar, but better than expected because INSEE expected only + 0.2%. The difference is tentative, counting in one block of this very popular publication. Between the end of September and the end of December, there were 71,100 additional jobs (+ 9.1%), well above pre-crisis levels.

“We did not anticipate such a surge tentatively,” said Sylvain Larrieu, Head of Comprehensive and Labor Market Situation, to expand the logistics platform, insure mass adoption and track contact cases. Explains the illness of. , Or even strong demand in the construction industry, has supported traditional employment for a year.

Temporary labor agencies may also have had a high demand to replace Covid’s disease employees, who work in jobs that are not open to telework, and whose numbers surged in Omicron at the end of last year. “The absentee rate has increased very rapidly,” agrees Eric Heyer, an economist at the French Institute of Economics and Economics (OFCE). According to his calculations, 300,000 positive cases per day appear to reduce absorbed working hours by 3.2% by working more colleagues or using temporary workers.

“Remember that last quarter’s growth was higher than expected,” adds Sylvain Larrieu. Another factor is definitely the record of apprenticeship contracts. Last year, about 720,000 people signed, of which 700,000 were signed in the private sector. This can only mechanically benefit youth employment, and thus general employment.

With the exception of temporary jobs, employment of private salaried workers increased moderately, to be exact 0.2%, with 35,600 additional jobs in the fourth quarter. The workforce has continued to grow slightly in the industry, but below pre-crisis levels. They slowed down again in the merchant services sector and stabilized in construction except for temporary work.

video.French labor market situation

And in 2022? A slowdown in GDP is mandated and the Bank of France expects an increase of 3.6%, which remains very high. Employment should logically follow the same gradient. As the economy catches up with the productivity gains of the pre-crisis trend, growth will have less work, Eric Hayer confirms. On top of this, there is the difficulty of hiring to spare a small part of the sector of activity.

At this stage, INSEE expects 35,000 and 45,000 additional jobs, both private and public, in the first and second quarters of this year.