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Labour market figures this week showed that the French employment situation deteriorated further last month. Unemployment in February reached a 16-year high with the auto and manufacturing industries noting sharp declines in jobs. The staffing market has not been left unaffected by the slowdown.
New data by the French association of private employment agencies (Prisme) today shows that the number of temporary agency workers in the country dropped by -11.5% during February when compared to the same time a year ago. All major sectors saw deteriorating market conditions.
The number of agency workers fell sharply by -15.4% in the industrial sector. Declines were more moderate in the services and trade sectors where the number of agency workers fell by -9.0% and -8.1% respectively. The construction industry posted a decline of -6.4%, followed by the transport industry (-5%).
Unskilled workers felt the pinch with their numbers declining by -13.3%. However, demand for managers and professionals also dropped by -12.7%, followed by skilled workers (-10.9%) and white collar workers (-8.3%).
Looking at geographical developments, eastern France was the worst affected region with agency employment falling across Franche-Comte (-25%), Alsace, (-19.1%) and Lorraine (-16.5%).
Staffing Industry Analysts does not expect the French staffing market to return to growth this year. According to the latest market forecasts for Europe, the French staffing industry is expected to deteriorate in 2013, given weak economic growth forecasts for the year ahead.