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France – Agency workers on shorter assignments

21 May 2013

At the end of last year, the number of temporary agency workers in France is estimated to have reached 562,800, a decline of -9.9% compared to December 2011. This is according to official figures by the French public employment services, Pôle Emploi.

The number of assignments in the agency work sector also dropped -1.2% in December 2012 from a year ago. Most assignments were carried out in the tertiary sales and services sector (46.1%), industry (38.3%), construction (15.1%) and agricultural (0.5%) sectors.

The data shows that those aged under 30 were the most active in the staffing sector with men representing the majority of agency workers in 2012.

The average duration of assignments declined slightly to 9.1 days in 2012 with all sectors, except the agricultural sector, seeing a fall in the length of assignments. On average, assignments lasted longer in the construction (12.9 days) and industrial (10.5 days) sector than in the tertiary (6.7 days) and agricultural sector (7.8 days).

According to the data, women worked shorter assignments than men with assignments lasting an average of 8.3 days, compared to 9.6 days for men. The length of assignments declined in a number of job categories, including for skilled workers (10.3 days), unskilled workers (7.7 days) and white collar workers (7.3 days).

Nearly a quarter of assignments in 2012 lasted only one day while those with a duration of two weeks represented the majority and made up 82% of total assignments in the industry. 

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