• 6.0




Key drivers

Overall Wage Pressure (3.4)

Real wage growth is forecast to be low again this year, but above the equivalent figure for last year.

Labour Market Participation (5.2)

The participation rate is forecast to fall this year in France for the first time since 2010. This will reduce the pool of skilled labour available for employers to hire.

Talent Mismatch (10.0)

This is driven by a combination of moderately high long-term unemployment and vacancy rates that are notably higher than France’s historical average.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


Tina Ling

Managing Director, Hays France & Benelux

View from the Ground

After a record year in 2018 – over 266,000 new hires and more than 73,000 vacant jobs – the white-collar recruitment forecast for 2019 confirmed the labour market is in good health, as the labour market is expected to continue growing with a forecast of more than 280,000 new hires – an increase of 6% year-on-year. The unemployment rate is expected to decrease from 9% to 8.9% during 2019 and is forecast to decrease even further over the next two years. During 2019, the national fiscal policy is predicted to support GDP growth of 0.5 percentage points, which can largely be accredited to the emergency measures enacted by President Emmanuel Macron, which resulted in a boost to purchasing power. With GDP forecast to grow by 1.5% this year, 2020 could be the year of a gradual return to meaningful growth.

Tina Ling, Managing Director, Hays France & Benelux

Key Skills in Demand

  • Cyber Security Specialists
  • Commercial Engineers
  • Data Analysts
  • Supply Chain Specialists
  • Payroll Officers

Market Insight

In 2018, GDP grew by 1.5%, slightly below the 2.2% registered in the previous year. Private consumption is expected to accelerate in 2019 and become the main engine of growth for the French economy in the short term.

The unemployment rate fell from 9.4% in 2017 to 9.1% in 2018. There may be limited scope for it to fall further given some of the inflexibilities in the labour market, such as high minimum wage levels relative to the average wage, relatively generous unemployment benefits and a still-elevated labour tax wedge which all lower incentives to work. These have hit some socioeconomic groups harder than others, with higher unemployment rates among the young, low-skilled and non-EU immigrants.