In France, salaried employment has returned to its pre-crisis level

Here are two figures that will make the Cassandras lie: after the 332,100 jobs destroyed in 2020, 330,800 jobs were created in the first half of 2021. In other words, the effect of the Covid crisis on salaried employment is ores and already erased, according to provisional estimates published Friday August 6 by INSEE. ” Good news, greeted the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne on Twitter, which confirms that our economy is recovering quickly and strongly ”.

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Indeed, good news that comes a few months in advance, since INSEE did not foresee a return of salaried employment to the pre-crisis level until the end of 2021. In addition, adds Philippe Waechter, chief economist at Ostrum Asset Management, French performance “Is much better than that of the euro zone or that of the United States, where the level of employment at the end of June was still 3.4% below the 2019 average”.

A “very generous” policy

This difference can be explained by the different approaches to the crisis. “The economic policy carried out with regard to companies or the labor market has been very generous in France, which means that the extent of the adjustment made to employment has remained small”, explains Mr. Waechter. “In the United States, for example, adjustment was first made through job cuts in the private sector, state aid only coming later: the adjustment methods are not the same. “

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In France, after a sluggish first quarter, GDP growth of 0.9% in the second quarter markedly accelerated job creations. The momentum was fueled by the lifting of administrative closure measures for cafes or restaurants, certain categories of businesses, and the return of interregional travel. In fact, the pace of recruitment is very marked in the accommodation and food services, commerce and cultural activities sectors. It must be said that these are the sectors that had lost the most jobs at the height of the crisis caused by Covid-19.

The industry, which is also facing labor shortages in certain trades, has not yet caught up

Construction and the private health sector (city medicine, clinics) have also returned to their pre-crisis levels. The industry, which is also facing labor shortages in certain trades, is less healthy and has not yet caught up, with a workforce down 1.5% compared to the before the crisis. Notably, the interim has not recovered to its pre-crisis level either. Mr Waechter also sees this as a positive signal. “If companies had doubts about this return to normal, they would hire temporary workers to limit the risk”, he explains. Gold, ” This is not the case “.

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