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France – Temporary Agency work driving employment rebound

13 December 2013

Temporary agency work is leading the way to recovery in the French labour market, according to the latest figures from the national office of statistics (INSEE).

The French staffing industry added 3,000 jobs in Q3 2013, increasing by +0.6% compared with the same period last year. When compared with the previous quarter, the number of new jobs was 5,000 (+1.0%). This is consistent with the latest data from the French staffing association Prism’emploi, which indicates that the market is stabilising.

Employment in the French private sector has been decreasing steadily since Q2 2012, but there are signs that the labour market is stabilising. In Q3 2013, employment in the private sector as a whole decreased by -0.1% (15,600 jobs) compared with Q2 2013. According to the INSEE this shows the labour market is improving as the number of private sector jobs fell by -0.2% (-37,700) in Q2 2013, compared with Q1 2013. Excluding the input from temporary agency work, the private sector lost20,600 jobs in Q3 2013. On a year on year basis, the private sector shredded as many as 132,500 jobs, resulting in a -0.8% decline in the number of jobs.

The Services sector was the healthiest in Q3 2013, even when excluding the numbers of temporary jobs created: -0.4% compared with Q3 2012, and +0.6% when including temporary jobs. Employment in the Industrial sector was down by -1.7% in Q3 2013, compared with the same period a year ago. In the Construction sector, the number of jobs fell by -1.9% over the same period.

Companies backed by private equity have created a record number of jobs in 2012, according to a separate study by the French Association of Investors for Growth (AFIC) published on Thursday. The study, which involved a total of 2,790 companies, indicates that a total of 115,000 new jobs were created, for 35,000 losses, resulting in a net creation of approximately 80,000 jobs; compared with 76,000 in 2011 and 61,000 in 2010. In the same report, the AFIC indicated that private equity backed business in the Industrial sector created approximately 15,000 jobs. Innovation driven business backed by private-equity firms created 18,000 jobs, and Services and Transports accounted for 33,000 new jobs  

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